It's a whole new line-up in this week's Speak-Up, as Ubikblack, Pointy, Anenemy, and Yantelope discuss the finer points of the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, human sexuality, online achievements, and returning to the good old days of gamer ostracism.

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It's Really A Super Show

Old news, but ubikblack has an excellent point. You should probably be watching this right now.

The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! is now available to stream on Netflix.

That is all.

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What Do You Look For In A Companion?

And now we're helping Pointy with his homework. Luckily for us, it's for his Human Sexuality class. And remember, let's be honest.

Hey General Kotaku Audience.

As part of an assignment for Human Sexuality, I am suppose to reach out to an group and ask them a question about what they find attractive in the opposite sex (or same sex, I don't judge). And afterwards, generate a consensus as to what my group looks for in terms of companionship.

Now, I'm what some would call "socially retarded" when it comes to real people, so I figure, what the hell, it's all the same, I'd rather ask you guys this. See what you think. Plus I may get more varied answers (or no answers, who knows?)

Anyway, question is as follows (directly off the assignment sheet).

"What do you look for in a companion, personality wise or physically when it comes to sex or relationships?"

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I know what I look for in a Companion...


What's Wrong With Multiplayer Online Achievements?

Anenemy has written a lengthy treatise on why developers should not include trophies or achievements that require online play.

A Call Against Online Achievements & Trophies

Developers should tread lightly when it comes to assigning achievements to Online components of their games. I don't know about any of you, but I have quite a few games in my collection that I will likely never get 100% of the available Achievements / Trophies, simply because of the ones connected to Online play.

Firstly, in order to play ANY game on Xbox Live, you must purchase a Gold subscription priced at $50 p/y. This less of a problem on a PS3 due to PSN being free, but you still need a broadband connection. These variables automatically lock-out a percentage of players.

Second, some developers have included Achievements that are only unlocked by reaching the pinnacle of the game's leveling system, which by nature, requires dozens of hours to reach; in many cases 50 hours or more.

Third, many game's multiplayer modes are:
• Under populated due to game's age, making it nearly impossible to match-make; which happens to many games after only a year or less.
• Tacked on or buggy, and therefore people don't play it much at all.
• Too difficult for gamers not adapted to the game's controls, or ignored by players who don't play online games.

Compound this with the fact that any game's multiplayer mode is inherently the most hardcore setting of that particular game. Meaning, if you play any game that has a Competitive Multiplayer mode, the very fact that the other player characters are now controlled by humans automatically makes the experience more difficult due to the unpredictability of those players' actions and the objectives presented to you.

A much better alternative is to reward players that invest time in the game's multiplayer modes, with unlocks, awards, etc.. in the mode itself. One developer that got this right from the start is Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare series. (Not my favorite, but a good example) They have no achievements linked to online multiplayer, yet playing that mode provided constant motivation to move forward by rewarding your time while you play. (Note: the Spec Ops Achievements of MW2 are fully playable offline)

I enjoy a challenge, I DO, but I am absolutely sure that there are many gamers that stay away from online play for these reasons. So, I know that I will probably never get the "Wanted" Achievement in GTAIV (Earn 5,000,000 in multiplayer), and I can live with that. But it is still a thorn of my collection to know it remains incomplete. Anyway it's just my opinion, I think Achievements should be left offline.

But you don't have to take my word for it... (dada da!)

Image courtesy of SplitReason.com's underwear section.

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Is Ostracism Better Than FarmiVille?

Yantelope thinks the mainstream acceptance of gaming might not be all it's cracked up to be, blaming it for the rise of The Sims, iPhone gaming, and Farmtown. Ouch.

In the days of the NES and SNES being a gamer made you a geek and a bit of a social outcast. Anime still has that effect to some extent. I thought it'd be cool if games were more widespread and socially acceptable. Well they are now and what has that gotten us? Farmtown, the sims and the iPhone as a "gameing console". You know what, I think I'd like to go back to the way things were.