Over on the Minecraft subreddit, a new trend has popped up in the last week or so where players use in-game blocks to build giant skeletons. Some are designed to look like humans or giants, others are built to look like large, dead versions of Minecraft animals or enemies.
As usual with these trends, it is hard to pinpoint the exact start, but about a week ago the Minecraft subreddit community started posting screenshots of creepy giant skeletons. These became popular, with some of the bigger and better creations earning thousands of upvotes and hundreds of comments.
After a few posts blew up, others began jumping on board the trend and uploading their own images of giant, dead things.
Now, something a lot of folks don’t know is that there are actually giant skeletons in Minecraft already. These large fossils have a very, very, small chance of spawning in Minecraft worlds, but they do exist. I only recently found out about them and checking out Reddit posts about these rare fossils, it seems many other players are unaware they exist in the game. In fact, they’ve been around for a few years now.
But if you can’t find one of these rare giant fossils in Minecraft, just make your own as all these other players have done.
Halloween isn’t that far away. Building a giant skeleton monster might be a perfect way to get into the spooky season spirt.
July 27 will mark 30 years since the original Mother came out in Japan on NES. To celebrate, Nintendo is running a Mother-themed Spirit Board event in Smash Bros. Ultimate, torturing fans who have been desperate to see the rest of the series localized in the West.
Smash Ultimate’s Spirit Board is a single-player affair where people can grind for rewards and grow their collection of spirits, each representing some artifact from Nintendo’s video game history. The one dedicated to the Mother games is a hopelessly bittersweet affair, however, because it reminds fans that Mother 3 still hasn’t been localized.
While the sunflowers are a reference to a famous scene from Mother 3, they’ve apparently never been rendered the way they appear in the promotional art before. Meanwhile, the sky and clouds appear to come from Smash’s Tortimer Island stage. None of this probably means anything, but wild speculation like this often happens when it comes to Mother 3.
When Earthbound, known as Mother 2 in Japan, released in North America in 1995 for the SNES, many fans had no idea it was part of a series. The first game wasn’t published outside of Japan for decades, and the third still hasn’t been. Even the most oblivious Earthbound fans realized something was up when Lucas, the protagonist of Mother 3, appeared in 2008’s Smash Bros. Brawl.
Mother 3 had only come out two years earlier in Japan on the Game Boy Advance. If Nintendo was going to feature him in its major crossover fighting game series, surely it would bring the actual source material over at some point as well, either via a port or remaster. And yet, nothing.
“Localize Mother 3” has become such a common refrain among fans, appearing on random signs at wrestling events and on the wishlists for every new Nintendo Direct, that it’s become almost something of a joke, uttered ironically to mask the sincere desperation deep inside players’ hearts.
That’s the only way to read the latest Mother 3 conspiracy theory: partly born of desperation and partly the result of fan brains broken by the fact that the game has still never been rereleased. Others have already poked fun at the attempts to read into the series’ future based on Spirit Board tea leaves.
Most of the responses to the speculation on Twitter have been the same. “Don’t do that,” wrote one person. “Don’t give me hope.”
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is one of the more difficult Resident Evil games to get a hold of on current consoles. If you wanted to play it today, your only real option—short of tracking down a hard copy of the original game —is dusting off a PlayStation 3 or Vita to download the PlayStation Classic version. Regardless of the format, you’re going to run into the same problem: The game has never been remastered or optimized for modern displays. So some fan modders got to work.
Resident Evil 3 Seamless HD Project is an attempt to make the survival horror classic look better in high definition, and the results, as you can see on this showcase video, are pretty impressive.
Even in a YouTube window you can appreciate the clarity a remaster like this one provides: Sure, everything looks crisper, but you can also clearly read the faded signs and posters on walls and appreciate the work of Capcom’s background artists that much more.
It’s exciting to see this, since Nemesis shook up the Resident Evil formula in one memorable way. The sequel, first released on PlayStation in September 1999, was built around the eponymous Nemesis–a recurring boss that stalked protagonist Jill Valentine during certain portions of the game. Unlike other monsters in Resident Evil games, Nemesis could follow you into other rooms, and this made him absolutely terrifying.
Considering how influential it was—nigh-unbeatable monsters that stalk players are now a horror game staple—it’s bizarre that Nemesis has not been re-released on current consoles, especially since most classic ResidentEvil games are readily available.
The fan remaster uses machine learning to upscale the game’s graphics, a common technique in unofficial remasters of classic games and cutscenes. The Seamless HD Project team—programmer Mathieu Phillipe, quality assurance tester Saeed, HD texture artist Kayael, and an artist who goes by FrankWesker—goes a little bit further than just using an algorithm to improve the game resolution, manually retouching a few in-game screens and building a custom version of the popular Dolphin Gamecube emulator for running their remaster.
It’s also not perfect. A FAQ section on the remaster’s download page notes that some things, like the inventory screens, aren’t able to be upscaled using their current process. Algorithms are also prone to leaving lots of rough edges that can take “thousands of man-hours” to clean up by hand, something that’s clearly outside the scope of a free fan project.
While the Resident Evil 3 Seamless HD project is free, it does not make the game any easier to get a hold of. The remaster’s product page indicates that it includes the aforementioned modified Dolphin emulator combined with the new texture packs. Actually running it requires an ISO image file of the Resident Evil 3 Gamecube port, which of course means a user would either need a pirated copy of the game or the software necessary to rip a Gamecube copy they own.
It is a shame that it’s not easier to play Resident Evil 3 given how widely available the series’ most popular entries are. Perhaps Capcom’s next plan for Resident Evil is a full-on remake of Nemesis akin to this year’s Resident Evil 2. That’d be nice. It would also be nice if we could play the game on current hardware.
With Anthem currently in a holding pattern as players wait for BioWare to add more content, its community has taken to dressing up like characters from other video games, comic books, and movies to help pass the time.
For several days now, players on the game’s subreddit have taken a break from the usual topics—how to improve the game, weird bugs, comparing loot drops—to share pictures of their Javelins customized to look like characters from elsewhere. The looks don’t always translate to Anthem’s mechanical exosuits, but players have been having fun regardless. By far the fan favorite so far is a Storm Javelin by Reddit user BrotatoChipz painted like a Charizard from Pokemon.
It’s especially fitting since the Storm Javelin has elemental fire attacks. “Okay so screw you,” wrote one commenter. “I hate all these posts but this one is actually amazing, so now I am both annoyed and pleased at the same time.” Unlike the other submissions, it even won a reply from BioWare’s global community lead, Andrew Johnson. “I <3 this one,” he wrote.
Anthem players have so much time on their hands at the moment that they’ve even gone further afield with much more obscure references. I kid you not, someone actually made Rinzler from Tron.
Someone else even made Metalhead, the fifth Ninja Turtle from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, originally created by Krang to fight them but later reprogrammed to be good by Donatello.
According to Anthem’s 90-day roadmap, there are a lot of updates planned for April, including a new Stronghold mission, additional gear, and a guild system, so the game’s remaining players will likely be back to the usual grind soon.
In the meantime, players can continue to show off their increasingly bizarre creations in a contest being held by the Fashionlancer subreddit. First-place wins a download code for a 4,600 Shard Pack, perfect for buying more cosmetic accessories for your Javelin, if and when the game eventually gets them.
“I’m a little worried,” I overhear someone say while we wait in line for Bethesda’s fan event at PAX East. “There’s a live Q&A.”
The line-waiter was talking about an upcoming panel discussion with some of Fallout 76’s developers, including director Todd Howard. But the live panel came and came and went without incident. No one asked awkward questions. No one heckled. No one threw a plastic Fallout 76 bag loaded with rotten tomatoes at the developers. Whatever people on the internet might say about Fallout 76, or Bethesda in the wake of its terrible launch, the fans at Bethesda’s Game Days event haven’t lost faith.
“From what I heard, it sounds like they’re making Fallout 76 into a game I actually want to play,” Nadav Kolodner, a fan and modder of previous Fallout games told Kotaku at the event while sitting at the bar. He abandoned the game after only playing for around six hours the weekend the game launched and doesn’t remember the period fondly.
“People were crashing servers, and taking game-breaking items and bringing them into starter areas, and setting off nukes that blew up the whole map to crash servers,” he said. Kolodner was referencing an incident from the first weekend when a number of players who had reached the end-game from playing during the beta period crashed the server they were on by launching too many nukes at once.
“I was online when that happened and that was not a fun experience,” he said. People were like, ‘Oh, that was so cool,’ and for the people who did it that was a pretty cool thing, but for me as someone who had just started the game it was kind of like, ‘Oh, everything is frozen, my game is crashing.’”
Kolodner, like a bunch of people, was turned off by how unstable Fallout 76 was when it launched, and all of the disparities between the vision Howard had shared on stage at Bethesda’s E3 press event and the actual experience people were able to play.
“When a studio comes out and they say that a game is going to be one of the greatest they’ve ever made, when they say it’s going to be open world, when they say it’s not going to be broken, that it’ll be balanced, and we’re going to be able to have hours and hours of fun and you’re going to be able to have this occupy maybe a year of play time, and then it comes out and it’s a buggy mess and servers are crashing and they didn’t iron any of this out in the beta, then it’s just kind of puzzling to me,” he said.
This is the second year that Bethesda has hosted a fan event adjacent to PAX East. Across the street from the Boston Convention And Exhibition Center, a motley collection of gamers descends on an Irish pub and the comedy theater above it to pay homage to the company responsible for some of the best open world role-playing games ever made. Or to play the hands-on demos for Rage 2. And in some cases, just to snag the free T-shirts Bethesda gives out. There’s also free booze and food for anyone who happens to show up, which is part of why the event attracts a line that snakes out into the lobby of the adjoining hotel.
Whether it’s the Fallout and Elder Scrolls-themed cocktails or the piles of hamburger sliders and baked macaroni sun-bathing beneath pale heat lamps, the people I talked to inside were, for the most part, all onboard with what Bethesda is doing with Fallout 76 going forward. Those plans, best summarized in a year-long roadmap that Bethesda released in February, revolve around rolling out timed seasonal events, slowly adding new gameplay features, and eventually introducing dungeons, four-player raids, and more story content.
In the over 100 days since it came out, Fallout 76 has received seven numbered patches and plenty of hotfixes. Some have improved stability and removed bugs, while others have done just the opposite. The latest updates have also been adding new content, though, which has given players something more positive to focus on. In the update titled Wild Appalachia, the highlight so far has been the Fasnacht Parade, a time-limited event where players teamed up on the main street of Helvetia to take down a legendary sloth and earn rare masks. It’s brought people together in a way the game’s existing public events and end-game nukes hadn’t. It’s also shown that the Fallout 76 experience can meaningfully evolve from whereit began.
“It doesn’t really force you to do any teaming up,” said another player, Jaime Galvin, explaining the reasons he fell off the game. “You’re kind of just doing a solo game with other people there.”
Galvin came to the event with his friend Derek Tee, who said he sees events like Fasnacht as a way out of that. “If it’s meaningful in the world in some way and has other players coming together for a common goal, I see that as a good option,” he said.
The loneliness in the game goes beyond just the options for engaging with other players, though. Everyone I spoke with at the event was also desperate for Bethesda to add non-player characters to the world.
“I’d prefer NPCs instead of just little robots everywhere,” said Rachel King, who has put over 100 hours into the game. “The other Fallout games, I got really into the story. This game, if I didn’t have a group to play with, I probably wouldn’t be playing anymore.”
Michael Southwell, who arrived to the event decked out in a faux-leather Fallout 76 jacket, agreed. “I think if they just add more stuff to do, more NPCs,” he said. “When you listen to the radios or the holo tapes, you’re like, ‘Oh my God, I want to know this person,” but then it’s either they’re dead or they’re a robot or something.”
The panel discussion at PAX East made him more confident about the future of the game, he said.. “I think the fact that they’re acknowledging that it’s been a bumpy road—like, a really bumpy road—they’re not just like, ‘Oh, whatever, we’ll get past it.’ They’re actually paying attention and listening,” he said. “That makes me feel a lot better.” Southwell said he was talking specifically about a moment early in the panel discussion, when director Howard talked about the game’s “ups and downs.” For the Bethesda diehards, that’s apparently enough.
Another fan, Jessica Kelley, said she is so happy with where Fallout 76 has gotten to after its rough start that she’s started spending more money on it. Her first big spend was upgrading her account to the $80 Tricentennial Edition, which netted her the celebratory Vault Boy saluting emote.
While Kelley agrees that the beta could have gone on longer and things could have been handled better, she wouldn’t have wanted Bethesda to delay the game to fix its issues..
“I think if it was released now, people wouldn’t have been as upset, but I think you’re always going to have a vocal minority that are going to be very loud and very angry about things they didn’t like,” she said.
For Kelley, it’s been a great experience, despite the bugs. “I’ve met more women in this game than I have in any other game,” she said. “How crazy is that? It’s like The Sims with murder.”
Donkey Kong is stronger than ever in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but there are still two big glitches holding the super heavyweight fighter back from reaching his true potential. His fans are desperate for Nintendo to set things right.
For a couple months now, players have been getting used to the latest version of Donkey Kong. His grab attacks have been improved, and he has more options for getting back onto the stage. The increased speed of Ultimate across the board makes him that much more deadly. Calib “Konga” Byers managed to place third as DK at last year’s Don’t Park on the Grass tournament, while Gavin “Tweek” Dempsey, arguably the best DK player in the world, took first place at January’s Glitch 6 tournament with DK in his rotation.
Unfortunately, the latest Smash iteration of DK also has some big problems. Most notably, his giant punch suffers from two glitches that can be extremely costly. As Smash player BaneGanondorf recently explained on the game’s subreddit, DK’s giant punch has a tendency to magically go through other players without hitting them, which can be extremely frustrating when you take into account that the attack requires being charged up. Ultimate is a 2D platform fighter, but character moves are animated in 3D, and while it’s unclear what the precise cause of the glitch is, the Smash community speculates it’s related to how the giant punch is animated along the Z-axis.
DK is also supposed to get super armor after releasing the giant punch, a mechanic that temporarily makes him invulnerable. However, when the giant punch is used in midair, the super armor frequently fails to trigger. This can be especially bad when a player is trying to recover onto the stage from a ledge grab. Because of the super armor, a well-timed giant punch can be a great defensive maneuver for coming back onto the stage. It’s especially easy to punish, though, when the armor misfires.
DK isn’t one of the most popular Smash fighters of all time, but he certainly has some of the most passionate fans. Many have taken to Twitter and YouTube to call for justice for the Kong using the hashtag #fixpunch. There are all manner of screenshots and video clips showing DK getting completely demolished thanks to his glitched punch.
There’s even an entire channel on the DK Smash UltimateDiscord dedicated to the #fixpunch effort. “The following pictures contain gratuitous Z-axis shenanigans and graphic whiffs,” reads the intro. “This is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned.” It’s dedicated to DK mains commiserating with one another over their defeats from the glitched giant punch, and the results are actually really funny.
Despite three substantive patches since Smash Ultimate was released last December, DK fans still haven’t gotten any relief. A Jan. 29 update tweaked dozens of characters, but all DK got was a shorter landing time for one of his air attacks. Nintendo did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it’s aware of the glitches, though the game’s 3.0 Version is slated to go live sometime this spring.
It’s possible that this next batch of changes will arrive some time after the Nintendo-sponsored Smash Ultimate tournament at PAX East this weekend, but until that time comes, all DK mains can do is continue to document their collective giant-punch-induced misery.
Not that long ago we saw some fans create a playable demo of an Unreal Engine 4 version of a beloved Star Wars podracing game. Now, another classic game set in the galaxy far, far away is getting remade in Unreal Engine 4 and a developer from Obsidian is involved.
Star Wars: Dark Forces was a classic first-person shooter developed by Lucasarts and released back in 1995.
As discovered by YouTuber BlueDrake42, this Dark Forces remake project is incredibly detailed and visually impressive. I honestly think it looks better than some recent Star Wars games from professional studios. The demo is set in Mos Eisley, the most famous town on all of Tatooine. I heard they have a great catina!
While the demo doesn’t have any action or enemies in it, it does show off the progress the developers have made. For fans of Star Wars, walking around the fully realized spaceport is still exciting, even without pesky Stormtroopers firing at you.
Finding the Millenium Falcon and other secrets is fun enough and the demo feels like a solid base for a future shooter, one featuring the levels of Dark Forces.
Something interesting to note is that Obsidian’s Senior Environment Artist Jason Lewis is leading the project, along with other developers and fans. However, to be clear the project isn’t connected to Obsidian, EA or Disney.
Not that long ago we saw a fan create a playable demo of an Unreal Engine 4 version of a beloved Star Wars podracing game. Another classic game set in the galaxy far, far away has also been getting the remake treatment in Unreal Engine 4 and a developer from Obsidian is involved.
Star Wars: Dark Forces was a classic first-person shooter developed by Lucasarts and released back in 1995. Obsidian’s Senior Environment Artist Jason Lewis is leading the project. It looks great based on screenshots found on the creator’s Artstation profile.
Recently, as discovered by YouTuber BlueDrake42, an earlier project by Lewis was found. This is a separate project from his Dark Forces level 1 remake. This other project is called Docking Bay 94 and it is incredibly detailed and visually impressive.
I honestly think it looks better than some recent Star Wars games from professional studios. The demo is set in Mos Eisley, the most famous town on all of Tatooine. I heard they have a great catina!
While the demo doesn’t have any action or enemies in it, it does show off the progress the developers have made. For fans of Star Wars, walking around the fully realized spaceport is still exciting, even without pesky Stormtroopers firing at you. It also shows how skilled and talented Lewis is at creating Star Wars worlds in UE4, which hopefully means his Dark Forces project will turn out looking as great.
Finding the Millenium Falcon and other secrets is fun enough and the demo feels like a solid base for a future shooter. However, to be clear neither project isn’t connected to Obsidian, EA or Disney.
Red Dead Online received update 1.06 last week that was its biggest since the game launched last year. It added tools to combat griefing, new cosmetics, bounties, and more. Though the update was substantial, many players disliked the changes, leaving Rockstar’s online game in a tough spot.
Red Dead Online has been out since late November but technically only as a beta. From the start, Rockstar warned players would be far from perfect. The company has updated the game several times, but problems keep cropping up and aggravating players.
One recent thread on Red Dead’s subreddit titled “This fucking update made Online even worse” has a 90% upvote rank and a score of 26.4k. In it, the writer complains of nerfed hunting rewards, new clothing items being ugly and how they feel the game now encourages griefing thanks to some daily challenges involving players killing other players.
In another thread, this one not nearly as popular but still upvoted at a 98% rate, a writer complains that Red Dead Online is simply too much of a typical-feeling player-vs-player shooter. “We want the cowboy mythology with friends,” they wrote.
Red Dead Online is free to people who bought Red Dead Redemption 2 but as with Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto Online the people making the game need at least some players to spend money on the games’ optional in-game purchases. Players are aware of this, and so changes to the games’ systems, often arouse player suspicion about how their time and effort are being spent—and whether they’re being pushed to pay for stuff.
That’s why a change in update 1.06 involving the sale of animal parts that Rockstar now says was just a bug fix aroused so many suspicions. When players went to sell skins and carcasses to butchers after the update, they discovered that skins were suddenly worth much less than before. Some felt this was a nerf and theorized that Rockstar was pushing players to grind more or buy gold bars, a premium currency in the game.
On Thursday, two days after the update went live, Rockstar’s support site was updated to indicate that “[p]rior to Title Update 1.06 a bug caused sales of skinned animal carcasses to be the same as a whole unskinned animal, despite the animal’s parts having been already harvested.” According to Rockstar, this meant players could skin the animal and sell the carcass and the parts separately to make more than intended. While Rockstar’s explanation makes sense, some players who prefer to earn money by hunting feel it makes the game more of a grind.
Then there are the game’s new emotes. Red Dead Online’s emotes include dances, blowing kisses and tough guy poses. Some of these emotes cost between $100 to $300 of in-game money, which translates into selling 20 perfect deer carcasses for the cheapest emotes. To buy the more pricey $300 emote players will need to sell 60 perfect deer carcasses, which is time-consuming and made harder by the fact you can lose your on-horse cargo if you drop from a server.
More frustrating for some players is the fact a few emotes can only be purchased with gold bars, a premium currency in RDO. While it is possible to earn gold bars by finding treasures or finishing challenges, it can take a lot of grinding to earn them. Rockstar also sells these gold bars, charging $10 for 25 gold bars. In Rockstar’s last big online game, GTA Online, all emotes were free, as one frustrated Redditor pointed out. Many of these were added over the years in updates.
GTA Online emotes were free and new ones added into the game were free too. Why are players being charged for emotes? And will prices on these emotes be lowered? (Many feel they are too high.)
Will missions be changed so that players who don’t do anything and are just AFK will not be given rewards?
Will daily challenge rewards be increased or tweaked in future updates?
Are you worried that some challenges might push players to kill other players? Is this something you want? Or do you hope players will complete these challenges in PVP?
Why are clothes marked as coming soon?
Many players wanted to hunt down players who earned bounties, similar to GTA Online’s system. Is this something Rockstar would add in the future? Or do you prefer having NPC bounty hunters?
Some players feel bounty hunters are too easy to defeat. Is this something that will be balanced or tweaked in future patches?
Finally, I know you are afraid of announcing features or plans too early, but what kind of roadmap can you give for the next 6 months of content or updates?