Welcome to The Best of Kotaku, where Tina usually rounds up our best reporting, funniest stories, and otherwise favorite Kotaku content of the week. But Tina's on vacation! Never fear. I'm the one collecting these gems.

I dare say it was a good week. A wild one, to boot.

(The art up top is from the gorgeous, upcoming game The Banner Saga.)

Your Survival Guide To The Biggest Gaming Month We've Seen In Years

Get ready to never leave your house again. For some reason, every video game maker in the world has decided to release their products in March 2013. From Tomb Raider to BioShock Infinite to SimCity, next month is stuffed with games. More »

Tomb Raider: The Kotaku Review

I never wanted to have sex with Lara Croft. And I didn't want to protect her either. In the early Tomb Raider games that I played and loved, the relationship was simple. More »

Real Racing 3 is a Beautiful Game Strangled By Freemium Nonsense

In 2009, Australian developer Firemint released Real Racing for the iPhone, stunning mobile gamers with amazing visuals and setting the standard for realistic mobile racing games. More »

From Dream To Disaster: The Story Of Aliens: Colonial Marines

On December 11, 2006, Sega announced that they had snagged the rights to the much-beloved sci-fi franchise Aliens. Eager to get people excited, Sega quickly announced that they had two big games in the works: More »

The Strange Status of Star Wars: 1313, A Hot Game With an Uncertain Future

It's not unusual for a newly-revealed video game to disappear for eight months. It's not weird to be amazed by a game and then neither see nor hear anything about it for a while.
The silence around Star Wars 1313, LucasArts' seemingly next-gen game that wowed onlookers at last June's E3 show, is... More »

It Will Blow Your Mind To See How Much It Costs To Add ONE New Character To A Fighting Game

Lab Zero Games, the guys behind 2D fighting game Skullgirls, want to add a new character to the game's roster. To do this, they're going to set up an IndieGoGo on February 25. More »

A Halo Easter Egg That Took Years To Discover

The people at Bungie are famous for putting obscure Easter Eggs into their games. Halo's creators have packed the massive sci-fi shooter franchise with all sorts of references and secrets, and fans love finding them.
But sometimes, Halo's little secrets are so obscure, nobody ever sees them. More »

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Is The Next Assassin's Creed, Ubisoft Confirms. Now, About That...

The worst-kept secret in gaming is no longer "secret," as Ubisoft has revealed the cover art for the next Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. More »

This Assassin's Creed Heroine Is a Great Black Game Character. Here's How It Happened.

The odds should've been against Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. It starred a woman-specifically the half-black, half-French heroine Aveline du Grandpre. More »

This Is Why We Need More Black People Making Video Games

When I traded correspondence with writer David Brothers last week, I made the argument that video games needs its equivalent to Blazing Saddles. This time, I'm saying that it could use its own version of Milestone Media, the groundbreaking comics company started by a crew of black professionals. More »

If You Think Good Graphics Make Characters Worth Caring About, You're Probably Insane

Last week, when the folks behind Killzone went on Jimmy Fallon's late night show to talk PS4, they said something that stuck with me.
In response to Fallon's question about what the PS4's impressive memory could do for developers, Guerilla Games boss Herman Hulst answered with a great deal of... More »

I Used To Smoke Pot Every Time I Played A Video Game. Here's Why I Stopped.

I started smoking pot during my junior year of college, after a loud and messy breakup with my first girlfriend that sent me into an absolutely manic rage. More »

Can We Talk About How Insane The Last Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Boss Is?

Now that Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has come out and people have had time to play the game, I think it's time we had a frank discussion about how next-level insane the last boss battle is, because holy crap.
(Obviously, spoilers ahead and in the video above)
Up until this point in... More »

The Real-Life Science Behind Crysis' Nanosuit

"Nanotechnology offers unprecedented possibilities for progress-defeating poverty, starvation, and disease, opening up outer space, and expanding human capacities. More »

The Most Hilarious Sports Game Glitches, Now In Motion

The constant progression of annual sport titles has another advantage besides the games getting more and more realistic every year. It creates moments where the players go nuts-suddenly, our ordinary game turns itself into Dragon Ball Z or Super Smash TV. More »

These Aren't Photos Of Cars. They Are, Believe It Or Not, Screenshots.

Below, you will find six images. As eyeballs on the internet, you may not believe it at first, but these are indeed screenshots from upcoming racer Project Cars.
I've been playing the game for a week or so, with an in-construction build (the game is constantly being added to and refined by the... More »

A Small Detail About The PlayStation 4 Could Have Big Implications

Among the bits of information dropped during last week's PlayStation 4 announcement was this from PS4 lead architect Mark Cerny, as he discussed the system's enhanced social features:
"[With the] PlayStation 4 we are transitioning to a friends network based on real world friends. More »

Sony Asked Ubisoft What They Wanted From PS4. Ubisoft Said Make It More Like PCs And Phones.

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot likes the PlayStation 4. Otherwise he wouldn't have showed up at Sony's big PlayStation 4 event last week, right?
He likes the PS4 in part because it's, well, a little less like a console and a little more like some of those other machines you might play games on: More »

Every Single Thing We've Written About The PS4, All In One Place

Ever try to drink out of a fire hose? Me neither, but I'd imagine that it might feel a little bit like trying to keep up with all the news that's pouring out about the PlayStation 4.
For the sake of anyone who prefers to drink their news in a slightly more dignified manner, here's everything we've... More »

Should Competitive Gaming Be On National TV? Experts Are Divided.

Competitive gaming has millions of fans. Its biggest stars earn six-figure salaries. Yet it's nowhere to be found on American television. You may happen upon bowling, lumberjack contests, or even rock-paper-scissors while channel surfing, but nary a match of StarCraft or League of Legends. More »

'Nintendo's Doomed, They Should Go Third-Party!'—Said Everyone, Ever.

Yesterday, former Epic Games designer and Dead Space aficionado Cliff Bleszinski was quoted by GamesIndustry International about what he perceived as the worst turmoil the industry's experienced since the eighties. More »

The Art Of The Banner Saga, One Of The Most Beautiful Video Games I've Ever Seen

When I played the game last year, what hit me almost instantly about The Banner Saga was the fact that, aside from being a smart turn-based strategy game, it was also one of the most beautiful video games I'd ever seen.
So it's a real treat, in the same week the game's multiplayer component became... More »

A Look At The StarCraft Game That Never Was

American artist Jason Felix has been working in the video game business for over 13 years now, and has had his artwork contribute to the development of series like Dead Space, Prince of Persia and even the ill-fated StarCraft Ghost.
He's also done some movie work, most recently with Blur Studios on... More »

Smash, Burn, Hack and Duck Your Way Through This Week in Gaming Apps

I finally caved and picked up a new full-sized iPad this week, so it stands to reason that this Week in Gaming Apps be bigger and higher resolution than the last, with a plug that doesn't fit any other the ones that came before it. More »

This Is About As Close To The Original Final Fantasy As You Can Get Today

When I was a young whelp, back when my writing career involved pictures of dragons and a black-and-white spiral notebook, I spent a lot of time playing the first Final Fantasy. More »

Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals is a Lot Worse Than I Remember

Anime and games are intimately tied together in Japan: popular games tend to get anime adaptations and popular anime tend to get game adaptations. Thus, over the years there have been a myriad of game-inspired anime-some good, others borderline unwatchable.
I saw my first game-inspired anime... More »

The New Accel World Episodes Are Little More Than Lighthearted Filler

Late last year, we took a look at Accel World, the sister series to Sword Art Online. But not all the episodes of the series aired on TV. Rather, two extra episodes were released as part of the collector's editions of the two Accel World games: More »

A Defense of Aquaman—From the Voice of Aquaman

I heard from many of you after this lip-curling, anti-Atlantean tract last week, in which I explained my soft bigotry of no expectations of Aquaman. Your complaints were printed out, read and thrown into my fireplace to warm my home. More »

Pizza Hut Big Pizza Sliders: The Snacktaku Review

Only the juggernaut that is Pizza Hut would have the balls to spend millions of dollars on post-Super Bowl advertising to introduce the world to its version of the tiny pizzas they sell in the Wal-Mart freezer section for a dollar apiece. More »

Kotaku 'Shop Contest: Diggin' in the Desert: The Winners

There are two types of people in this world, my friend: Those who start video game companies, and those who dig. Nolan Bushnell is both. A staged shot of Atari's founder in the Dubai desert launched last week's 'Shop Contest. More »