Fallout 4’s Far Harbor expansion is pretty anime with its island of misfit Synths and deep-seated mysteries. But one modder decided it isn’t anime enough and took matters into their own hands.
Nexus Mods user Hiyokomod created the AnimeRace Nanakochan mod, which adds anime-style characters to Fallout 4, after being disappointed with how the mechanic and synth expert Kasumi Nakano appears in Far Harbor’s questline. You first learn about Nakano by hearing her voice over the radio. She’s animated and bubbly, but also grappling with some heavy existential crises. Once you meet her though, she’s just as grim and mannequin-looking as most of the other character models that tend to populate Bethesda’s open worlds.
“I was absorbed in her and went to see her in a hurry. I was so excited that I even forgot that the game I was playing was Bethesda,” Hiyokomod, whose first language isn’t English, wrote using a translation tool. “I was in despair when I met Kasumi. At the same time, I realized that my ideal Kasumi could not exist in this world. I had to choose between quitting the game or creating my ideal Kasumi.”
Hiyokomod decided on the latter and so created the AnimeRace Nanokochan mod. Rather than just change how Nakano appears in the game, the mod adds an entire race of anime people. It even adds tools for players to create their own anime player character.
It’s a bizarre addition to the game that makes its strange, futuristic setting both more charming and more disconcerting. On a thematic level though, it also sort of works: Nakano’s whole storyline is about an island where Synths, the game’s race of beleaguered, self-aware androids, have taken refuge, and her residual doubts about her own humanity. Turning her into a youthful anime girl heightens that emotional turmoil. As a bonus, it makes Fallout 4 look like a Japanese role-playing game, which I’ve always felt like it was meant to be.
Fortnite is known for its big in-world seasonal changeover events, but the one this weekend didn’t quite go as expected. While many players got to see the event unfold just as Epic intended, some players were unable to attend and participate in a community vote for a new item.
The May 4 event had players gather for the Unvaulting, which finally opened the mysterious vault underneath Loot Lake. Players could then enter the vault and choose to “vote” on an item by striking it with a pickaxe. Once one item–a Tommy Gun–was freed, players were ejected and got to witness the smoldering volcano finally erupt and destroy Tilted Towers.
Players who were locked out of the event, however, saw none of that. They didn’t get to vote on the item that was eventually freed, and they didn’t get to see Tilted get wrecked. To make up for the error, Fortnite has set up an open folder with a replay file, and instructions in various languages for how to use it. Essentially it involves downloading the file, dropping it into the Replay menu, and then refreshing to view it.
As an extra freebie for your troubles, Epic is also giving away the Arcana Glider. If you’ve already bought the glider, you’ll get refunded the 1200 V-Bucks so you can use it on something else.
All of this was to set the stage for Season 9, which will kick off on May 9. The studio teased a theme as usual, with the tagline “The Future Is Unknown.” It also shows a new skin, presumably one you’ll be able to earn through the next season’s Battle Pass. The future would be a big departure from its current season, which is themed after pirates and treasure hunts, but there’s no telling just what it means until the update goes live.
We love a good freebie, and here’s one Steam players won’t want to miss out on: point-and-click adventure Kathy Rain is currently free to own. Once you click “install game,” the title will be added to your account, and it’ll be yours forever. However, this flash deal won’t last long–the giveaway ends tomorrow, May 7, at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET.
Set in the ’90s, the game follows Kathy, a bold, sassy journalism major who’s investigating the mysterious death of her grandfather and uncovers the sinister secrets of her hometown in the process. Eerie and compelling, Kathy Rain features gorgeous pixel art graphics, hand-drawn environments, original music, and complete voice-acted dialogue. While GameSpot hasn’t reviewed the game, Kathy Rain has over 1,000 reviews and a “Very Positive” rating on Steam–and at the low, low price of $0, you might as well pick it up and dive in.
If you’re into story-driven indie games with dark themes, you might also consider picking up the Dark Dames in Adventure Games bundle, which is 20% off (now $40) and includes Kathy Rain and four other games.
Whether you’re a professional basketball player or whoever left that Starbucks cup on the Game of Thrones set, everybody has off nights. Well, everybody except the rejuvenated San Francisco Shock. After a messy first season, they’ve spent season two looking like an entirely different team. Yesterday, they achieved something no other team ever has: a perfect stage.
Overwatch League seasons are broken up into stages, each of which last five weeks and feed into their own mini-playoffs. While the ever-dominant Vancouver Titans—to whom the SF Shock narrowly lost one of the best matches of the season to cap off stage one—have made it through multiple stages without losing a match, SF didn’t drop a single map during stage two. They won four maps to zero against every team they played, for a total of 28 consecutive map victories. This is a first.
Stage two concluded yesterday afternoon. Over the course of five weeks, SF played against the Los Angeles Valiant, the Guangzhou Charge (twice), the Toronto Defiant, the Hangzhou Spark, the Philadelphia Fusion, and the Shanghai Dragons. Admittedly, only two of those teams—the Shanghai Dragons and the Hangzhou Spark—are currently in the league’s top eight. One could argue that top teams like the Vancouver Titans and the New York Excelsior fared nearly as well while facing tougher competition. Then again, the New York Excelsior dropped two matches to the 11th-ranked Atlanta Reign during stage two, so who really knows what’s going on with them anymore?
Still, all that aside, it’s been fun to watch SF build to a place of confidence that borders on outright swagger. Yesterday, for example, they absolutely styled on the Shanghai Dragons with plays like this split-second Winston bubble that countered a Pharah rocket barrage midair, causing her to self-destruct.
During the same match, SF set a new completion-time record on Overwatch’s Paris map during their first attack. Apparently that wasn’t enough for them, because they proceeded to break their own record during their next attack. After the match, SF tank player Matthew “Super” DeLisi joined OWL’s commentators at the desk and talked mad shit—or at least, talked some shit, which is a change of pace in a league where players are largely soft-spoken (at least, when the cameras are on).
Stage two playoffs begin on Thursday, with SF once again playing Shanghai to kick things off. I wouldn’t call that match’s outcome a foregone conclusion, but well, let’s be real here: If nothing too crazy happens, then we’ll probably be looking at an SF-Vancouver rematch in the stage two finals. As for who takes it, I’m still favoring Vancouver, but if the rematch is even half as good as their first tilt, it’ll be required viewing no matter what.
In 2015, Microsoft introduced the Elite, a high-end version of the Xbox One controller. It was immediately popular, despite costing more than double what a standard controller cost. Four years later, Sony is yet to offer a similar high-end controller option for the PlayStation 4. Instead, third-party hardware companies have filled that void with mixed results.
The Astro C40 TR is the first PS4 controller I’ve used that bests Sony’s DualShock 4. But the new controller comes at an astronomical price.
The C40 TR costs $199.99. You could buy four DualShock 4 controllers with that money. Whether or not the controller is worth the investment is dependent on a number of factors, namely what kind of games you play, where you play, and how often you play. If your answers are “shooters,” “PS4 and PC,” and “constantly” (and if you have the financial means) this might be the controller for you.
The Astro C40 TR works differently than a traditional controller
Newcomers to the high-end controller market will likely wonder why anyone would spend this much for a controller that’s not encrusted with diamonds. The short answer is competitive advantage. Most competitive controllers feature “back paddles” that allow the player to keep their fingers on the analog sticks and triggers at all times.
An example: Let’s say you have to hit a face button to reload your gun. That split second where your thumb is moving from the right analog stick to a face button is a moment when someone can turn the corner and kill you. Maintaining constant contact with the analog sticks means being able to pull off complicated slides and jump shots, all while maintaining perfect aim. For fast-paced shooters it can make a major difference at the highest levels of play.
The C40 TR has fewer back paddles than some of its competition, at just two, but even for hardcore players that should be plenty. The nice thing about the back paddles on the C40 is that they’re built right into the molding of the controller. They don’t look like detachable hangers-on, as is the case with the Scuff Vantage or the Xbox One Elite controller. Here they fit right in with the design, resting where the tips of your middle fingers fall on the back of the controller.
The controller feels right. There’s a sturdiness to the C40 TR; it looks and feels like it could withstand the wear and tear of a few thousand Overwatch matches. It’s got a heft, without being too heavy. It’s a high-quality build that doesn’t become exhausting to carry through a long gaming session. Given the steep investment, this really needs to be a controller that can survive for several years, and the C40 really feels like it could weather the apocalypse.
The Astro C40 TR is extremely customizable
While most competitive controllers settle for a few extra buttons and some programmability, the C40 TR offers silly levels of customization. The splashiest feature is the ability to swap the location of the analog sticks and d-pad. Depending on hand size, you may prefer the off-set analogs of the Xbox One layout or the symmetrical sticks of the DualShock 4. I’ve always preferred the former, and playing PS4 games with my hands in a more comfortable position is a real boon.
The stick-swapping process is interesting, requiring the use of a mini hex screwdriver (included in the box). If you’ve never cracked a controller open before it may seem terrifying, but I found the process a breeze with Astro’s controller. Once the front plate is removed, all of the components are swapped around in just a few seconds, snapping into magnetic slots. With a little practice I’m able to complete the whole process in just over a minute. This means that swapping to a more d-pad oriented game like Shovel Knightis never a time sink.
There is software customization as well. I can reassign any input from one button to another in just a few seconds using Astro’s software on a computer. Settings are all saved locally on the controller itself, meaning the changes will carry over no matter what machine I’m playing on. The only disappointing limitation: Astro doesn’t allow reprogramming of the touchpad button. On the PS4 the touchpad will default to its normal function, but on the PC it is essentially worthless. It’s not a dealbreaker, but given just how customizable the rest of the controller is, this is a letdown.
Another hiccup: The C40 TR has wireless and wired modes, but the wired port on the controller is limiting. The micro USB cable included with the controller fit fine, but a number of other micro USB cables I had lying around the house were not narrow enough. The passage required to reach the USB port is supposed to be there for protection of the hardware, but Astro may have gone a bit overboard.
These issues are obviously minor and easily trumped by the overall design and functionality of the C40 TR controller. It is one of the finest pieces of gaming hardware I’ve ever used, setting a new high-end standard for controllers. Whether that’s worth $200 is between you and your student loan debt.
The Astro C40 TR controller was reviewed with a unit provided by Astro. You can find additional information about Polygon’s ethics policy here.
I was going to write a post about how recently-released visual novel Our World Is Ended would be much better if the engaging science fiction story wasn’t interrupted by characters talking about boobs. Then middle school programming whiz Tatiana showed up and started accusing the college-aged main character of trying to steal her panties.
(Images in this post are safe for work, but contain racy text and descriptions of sexual situations. If you don’t want to see those, run.)
I was having a relatively good time playing Our World Is Ended, released earlier this month by PQube for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The artwork is stunning. The plot involves the members of a small game development studio called Judgement 7 getting trapped in a virtual world between fiction and reality where their video game creations come to life.
It sounds like exactly my sort of game. It opens with the player character, Reiji, testing out Judgement 7’s virtual reality program on the streets of Tokyo. Everything is going well when the program glitches, giving Reiji a glimpse of a shocking, post-apocalyptic scene.
I was instantly drawn into this twisted sci-fi tale. I almost didn’t mind that every couple of minutes the game dropped everything to focus on, describe or discuss boobs. Main character Reiji is a college student, and his mind tends to wander. At least he’s creative.
We’re slowly introduced to the rest of the members of J7. There’s Owari, AKA “The Perverted Programmer,” whose description should have been my first inkling of how the game was going to go. He’s the boss of the studio. Then there’s the planner, a large, bombastic gentleman who calls himself Iruka No. 2. He is silly and fun, with the ability to somehow make his sunglasses flash in true anime hero fashion. Along with Reiji, that’s it for the team’s male contingent.
Then we have Yuno, the assistant with the large, pillowy breasts, and graphic artist Natsumi, who is the kind of girl whose breasts look small in clothes but are actually big. Yuno’s sister, Asano, does sound design for the team and has very small breasts.
How do I know all this? Because the game is constantly bombarding me with boob comments, concerns and facts. Reiji thinks about his teammates’ breasts a lot. Whether everyone is just sitting around a meeting room table or being chased by a bloodthirsty beast through the nighttime streets, Reiji is ready with boob thoughts.
Breasts are also discussed by the entire J7 team on a regular basis. The two senior male members of the group constantly debase Asano for her small chest, calling her “unfortunate” and “saddening.” Here’s this super cute anime girl with an outstanding sense of style, and she’s constantly being made feel inferior because of her measurements. No wonder she’s always punching and threatening her co-workers.
Later in the game, when the group finds themselves trapped between the real world and the game world, a non-player character named Erorie from one of their older games shows up.
Everything pretty much goes downhill from there.
“Borderline offensive” is a good way to describe how I imagine most players would have described the game to this point. I was taking it in stride, genuinely curious as to what was going on, how the worlds got twisted together and how the team was going to resolve the situation. I can handle boobs, non-penetrating tentacle monsters and Erorie being programmed to drop slimy white food on her chest.
I could not handle Tatiana.
Appearing early in the game as an avatar on a computer screen, it wasn’t until I was a few hours into the game that I got to meet Tatiana in person. Here is her description, from a press release issued around Our World Is Ended’s release:
Tatiana was born in Russia but she has lived in Japan since her childhood. She usually works as a programmer at research institutes while attending junior high school in Hokkaido. She is a super genius also known as “Russian’s Hidden Treasure” but apart from her programming skills, she is inferior to most of the children of her age. Her basic social and living skills are more around the lower elementary school or kindergarten level.
So she is a very young genius with poorly-developed social skills. Here’s a screenshot of Reiji and Tatiana’s first in-person meeting.
We’ve got a child sprawled on the ground. To the left is a case with children’s underwear and a stuffed bunny spilling out. There’s some more underwear scattered about. Off to her right is a lollipop. To top it off, she’s shouting about her panties.
This is a visual novel in which players assume the role of Reiji Gozen, a member of a game developer group creating augmented reality programs in Tokyo. As players progress through the narrative, they make action and dialogue choices that can lead to still-image sequences depicting violence and blood: characters shot by pistols; blood splatter on walls, tables, and around victims’ bodies. The game contains some sexual material: female characters wearing skimpy outfits (e.g., deep cleavage), often viewed via close-up camera angles; still-images of moaning characters, covered in slime and restrained by tentacles; sexual references in the dialogue (e.g., “Your breasts are soo big” ;“I can feel her breasts 30% better than before, too”; “I’m so w*t that I might go over the edge”; “I don’t wanna die for your damn porn even if it kills me.”). The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “a*shole” appear in the game.
But nothing prepared me for the Tatiana scenes. She talks about her breasts. She calls people, the player character included, perverts, suggesting they are after her underwear. At one point her father shows up as Reiji is putting Tatiana down for a nap and accuses him of molesting her.
I reached out to Nintendo and Sony about Our World Is Ended, passing along a description and several screenshots of Tatiana-related situations, but neither company got back to me in time for publication. UK-based publisher PQube sent a statement to Kotaku earlier today, saying the game is already under review.
As always, our mission at PQube is to bring games from Asia to the west, taking care to ensure that they align with the original as closely as possible.
However, we also have a very strong bond with our community and fans and so are always mindful of paying close attention to, and implementing, any feedback.
Since release we took on board a lot of feedback and have already been reviewing Our World Is Ended to help make improvements to ensure it is as enjoyable as possible to our wider community.
Careful trimming could make Our World Is Ended less offensive. It’s murky censorship territory, but I don’t imagine many people complaining about removing the blatant sexualization of a middle schooler from the game.
Whatever action PQube takes, I am done. Maybe I’ve already seen all of the “racy” interactions the player has with Tatiana, but I’ve seen enough. I will not be finishing Our World Is Ended. I am amazed the game made it onto the PlayStation 4 in North America, let alone the Nintendo Switch. I am a huge proponent of racy console games, but there are limits. This game crossed them.
If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber that means you have access to Twitch Prime as well as a whole bunch of in-game loot. Outside of monthly indie games, Twitch Prime occasionally offers pieces of DLC for popular games including Call of Duty Black Ops 4.
Ending on May 6, players can redeem the free Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Customization Bundle which includes an exclusive Jump Pack, Rare Outfit, and rare Weapon Camo.
In order to redeem the loot, make sure your Twitch Prime account and Call of Duty accounts are linked HERE. Once your Twitch Prime account is linked to your Call of Duty account, the content should show up when you open up Black Ops 4 with an “Offer Redemption” screen appearing. This first bundle is available from today through April 29 on PS4.
Following on the heels of Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King, Disney’s live-action revamp of Lady and the Tramp heads to Disney Plus later this year. In addition to trading out the animated pooches for realistic doggos, the remake will reportedly cut a controversial number from the original: “The Siamese Cat Song.” Janelle Monáe will write a track to replace the number, according to Entertainment Weekly.
In the movie, Monáe plays Peg, a crooning pound dog voiced by Peggy Lee in the original, and is expected to re-record the songs first performed by Lee — such as the Siamese Cat Song. While she will simply cover Lee’s other song “He’s a Tramp,” a completely new song will replace “The Siamese Cat Song.”
The original Lady and the Tramp featured two slinky, villainous siamese cats (named … Si and Am) owned by Lady’s human owners’ relative Aunt Sarah. They appear as pretty standard animated siamese cats — except for their big buck teeth, a common racist caricature used in depictions of Asians during the 1940s and ’50s. Additionally, Peggy Lee performed with an affected accent and purposefully choppy English, especially noted in “The Siamese Cat Song.”
The song also makes heavy use of Orientalist elements, like a gong and rhythmic drums, borrowing familiar staples from Asian culture without context. The character designs and music choice, while standard for 1955, have not aged well.
Disney actively uses its live-action films to address the problematic content of their originals. For instance, March’s Dumbo completely removed the character of Jim Crow. But addressing the racist tones in older movies hasn’t always been as high a concern at Disney. In 2004, the company released a cover of “The Siamese Cat Song” by Hilary Duff and Haylie Duff for the Disneymania 2 album.
Lady and the Tramp features Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux as the titular canine couple. Kiersey Clemons and Thomas Mann play Lady’s human owners. Sam Elliott voices Trusty the Bloodhound, with Ashley Jensen as a gender-flipped Jackie the Scottish Terrier and Benedict Wong as Bull the bulldog. The movie will debut on Disney Plus when the platform launches on Nov. 12.
Treyarch has just announced what is coming to Call of Duty Black Ops 4 for the week of May 7th.
The most anticipated item on the list is the return of Alcatraz in Blackout for all platforms. This limited time mode was removed last week from PS4 so players can spend more time in Bounty Hunter, however Xbox One and PC players will be able to enjoy both modes on May 7.
Spectre (Xbox One/PC)
“Wetworks” map update + Bounty Hunter in Blackout (Xbox One/PC)
“Super Blood Wolf Moon” Gauntlet in Zombies (Xbox One/PC)
Alcatraz returns to Blackout May 7 on all platforms
With its harsh, unforgiving temperatures and constant blizzards, Mount Loper doesn’t seem like the sort of planet where most people would want to settle down. But No Man’s Sky fans who are a part of the player-run collective known as the Galactic Hub were coming up against an unusual problem five months ago: overcrowding. Settlements built on the capital planet, New Lennon, were becoming so popular that player-built bases would start to disappear, seemingly pushing against the limits of No Man’s Sky. And so the Galactic Hub set out to find a new home.
The Hub, which was established in 2016, is a group of No Man’s Sky players who banded together to deeply explore a region of the game. The guild was meant to provide players with an area where they could find discovery markers everywhere, hopefully giving people a reason to stick around and contribute to the overall effort. Hub players also provide services to members, such as trading and fuel delivery. As No Man’s Sky fleshed out its multiplayer mechanics, the Hub flourished. With a larger number of players in the mix, the Hub developed the concept of capitals and colonies —that is, deliberate communities where people could build, explore, and learn together. But early gatherings at the Hub were scattershot.
This new colony would be different. Planned. Precise. Unlike earlier large-scale player settlements, Hub members would have specific plots of land where they were allowed to build, but only if they were approved for residency first. The location of the colony would be a secret, until you applied and got in.
But it was time for a change. In the real world, many players were still in the thick of winter. Perhaps this is how the Hub arrived at Mount Loper, a snow-covered planet that promised a new type of experience for the seasoned adventurers.
“Actually being on the planet creates an experience pretty rare even in No Man’s Sky,” said Galactic Geographic, founder of the Galactic Hub. “Maybe it’s something like planetary-inflicted Stockholm Syndrome, but carving out a space for yourself in such an unwelcoming environment makes your homestead feel that much more earned, necessary, and secure.”
Mount Loper was a thematic fit, too: Between its vast mountain ranges roams the mighty Diplo, a dinosaur-like creature with a long, arched neck. With an appearance rate of less than one percent, the rare monster has become a literal emblem for the Galactic Hub, thanks to players who hunt for new sightings.
As of right now, there are around 70 players who have claimed land on Mount Loper, spread out across all platforms. Each base is mapped and spread out to give players plenty of real estate to build in, while also giving them an opportunity to link up with other players, if they wish. Much attention has been paid to building extensive road networks between bases, partially for convenience — Mount Loper can be hard to navigate — but also for protection. As an extreme weather planet, Mount Loper sometimes becomes enveloped in whiteout conditions where players can’t see very far. Roads, which are occasionally outfitted with rails and barriers, help players see where they’re headed.
Of course, building this vast infrastructure wasn’t easy, thanks to the weather and erratic terrain. Players have to make use of materials meant for base roofs, along with light fissures to help light up the roads. According to Mount Loper resident NMS Kibbles, players are also currently investigating if they can leverage the vast cave networks on the planet to help them get around, too.
According to the Galactic Hub founder, base settlements on PC and Xbox One are laid down in a honeycomb pattern that is reinforced by roads. This may seem like a mundane detail, but the diligence behind Mount Loper’s construction means this is the closest thing No Man’s Sky has to a player-built city. As far as players know, this is the largest multiplayer settlement in the entire game. That’s part of what’s attracting players like Zaz Ariins, who tells Polygon that they “like the idea of the in-game civilizations being on the same page and working together cohesively for the betterment of the entire community.”
Ariins is a part of a different No Man’s Sky collective, Alliance of Galactic Travelers (AGT), which functions similarly to the Galactic Hub. But, the Galactic Hub is considered the leading organization when it comes to space initiatives. By helping out with Mount Loper, Ariins is acting as a diplomat of sorts.
“I have an opportunity to better relations between my own group and the Galactic Hub leadership and also to experience new neighbours, make new friends and hopefully contribute something to Mount Loper that adds to its allure,” he said. Plus, Ariins added, Mount Loper helps challenge the notion of what type of planet is worth investing in. “There was a time I avoided extreme biomes like the plague — and I believe that amount Loper opens players’ minds to explore more diverse biomes and gives them more opportunities to fully enjoy what this incredible game has to offer.” It’s also worth noting that formal alliances with the Hub receive benefits, such as being able to ask the Hub for economic assistance.
Already, there are a few interlopers who have set down on the planet without permission. While not ideal — the Hub wants Mount Loper to adhere to a settlement pattern — there’s not much they can do about it, other than to ask people to go through the proper channels. At the very least, these unregistered inhabitants seem to mean no ill will toward Mount Loper residents, given that they’re also contributing roads to the effort. And besides, Galactic Geo says, the current application process is a formality. Everyone who applies can get in, even if it takes some time for approval. It’s done this way to ensure that the colony growth has some order to it.
While this is the most ambitious settlement attempted in the history of the game thus far, the Galactic Hub is already thinking about where it can go next.
“I think this is a great stepping stone for future colonies,” NMS Kibbles said. “The next colony I feel will further build on this [Mount Loper] idea.” Wherever that ends up being, the core values at the heart of the Galactic Hub will remain the same.
“We strive to document, create, help others, and collaborate,” NMS Kibbles said.
For now, though, Mount Loper residents are soaking in their new home.
“I [spend] a lot of time just ‘being’ there: enjoying the haze that fills the caves when a storm hits, feeling the ground rumble from the Diplos walking above me on the planet’s surface, watching the shadows that the sun casts through the heavy duty glazed panels which keep the elements out,” Zaz Ariins said.
“Even in a virtual world, we’re still all humans with an instinctive need to connect and belong,” he mused.