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The Instagram adventures of Mario and Luigi

- August 28th, 2014

Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario, Luigi, Wario et al in the video games, has the most adorable Instagram account.

In his videos we get a look at the lives of Mario and Luigi out in the real world. (Martinet carries around action figures of the characters and gives them cute dialogue).

Here are some of the best ones:

Martinet, who might be paying homage to Space Jam in keeping it real with this ancient website, first appeared as Mario in Mario Teaches Typing in 1991, according to IMDB.

His next big appearance was in 1995′s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island as Baby Mario, a character with a cry so abrasive and unbearable I have in the past described it as a psychological form of birth control. Martinet’s Instagram account makes up for it, though.

(Watch if you dare!)

H/t to Reddit.

Death threats force Anita Sarkeesian out of her home

- August 27th, 2014


Anita Sarkeesian, the controversial creator of the Women Vs. Tropes In Video Games series, says she had to leave her home after one of her many naysayers threatened to kill her, her boyfriend and her family in a series of tweets that appears to have included her address.


Sarkeesian posted a screenshot of the threats, which you can see after the cut. Be warned: The content is extremely graphic.

Read more…

Anita Sarkeesian: Dragons are seen as more realistic than a world without sexual violence

- August 26th, 2014

Anita Sarkeesian concludes her latest installment of the feather-ruffling Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games series with a pertinent question: Why do we think depictions of brutalized women are necessary to make a game feel real?

After a thoughtful and lengthy dissection of how video games use violence against women as background decoration or lazy character development, singling out games like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Bioshock, Watch Dogs, God of War and Hitman, Sarkeesian explains:

It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game world would feel too unrealistic or not historically accurate.

What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend and break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection? We’re perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons in a massive invisible backpack, but somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.


Mario Kart 8 DLC includes Link, Cat Peach and 16 new courses

- August 26th, 2014


Nintendo has  announced two massive DLC packs for Mario Kart 8 that bring in characters and vehicles from outside the Mario universe.

Combined, the packs contain six new characters, eight new vehicles and four new cups comprised of 16 new courses.

The first pack, available in November, includes Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, while the second pack, available in May, features  Dry Bowser and  Animal Crossing‘s Isabelle and the Villager.

They about $12 each, and if you buy them together, you also get eight differently coloured Yoshis and Shy Guys.

You can read our review of Mario Kart 9 here.

‘Swing Copters’ is way harder than ‘Flappy Bird’

- August 23rd, 2014

Remember when Flappy Bird was released earlier this year and the general mass public went cuckoo over its “insane” difficulty?

Creator Dong Nguyen does, and he’s back with a game that amplifies the insane difficulty of Flappy Bird tenfold.

Swing Copters is Nguyen’s first foray back into the world of game development after he decided to quit the industry altogether following massive backlash from critics and players alike over the in-game advertising in Flappy Bird and the simpleness of the game.

Like Flappy Bird, players are given the challenge of flying a tiny pixelated helicopter through a series of crevices that become smaller as the game wanes on.

Or that is, I imagine they become smaller as the game wanes on as I haven’t actually gotten past the first opening to test my theory.

Oh yes, it is that difficult.

Cnet’s Nick Statt described the game best: the definition of a “masocore game.”

The beauty of the game is the immense difficulty players are challenged with from the get-go, a quality many modern games seem to lack as more and more developers are adding difficulty adjustment settings to broaden their marketing appeal.

It’s beauty, moreover, is the reason this game will most likely be downloaded thousands of times and become an overnight phenomenon like its predecessor.

It’s a rush to check the score of a good friend or most despised nemesis and furiously start tapping in an attempt to beat their score, all in an effort to brag about your latest crowing achievement via Instagram, of course.

Short attention spans of iPhone and Android users must be taken into account, however, so it’s probably best to download the game quickly before we toss it into the trash pile of games we’ll only pick up during a coveted bathroom trip without a seconds thought.

Mobile games are a dime a dozen, and eventually, there will be a new masocore game just begging for the attention of cellphone users around the world.

Until then, though, the best of luck to all you pilots.

May you hopefully attain a score of one faster than I did.