August is nearly over, and what do we have to show for it? Among other things, another week of good Kotaku stories. I recommend reading (or in some cases viewing) these:
- Well, The Witcher 3 Sure Proved A Point - Shrewd news analysis by Luke: “In many ways, a game like The Witcher 3 doesn’t belong in today’s world, a time where games are being designed as much around payment models, multiplayer metrics, pricey DLC and social marketing as they are player experiences. Yet not everyone plays games to compete, or to share, or to show off.”
- The Most Exciting Moment At The U.S. League of Legends Finals - Yannick has been trying hard to keep up with MOBAs and explain what’s happening in them in ways that make sense to casual observers but are also interesting for fans. His piece about a shocking steal in a match at the League of Legends U.S. finals nails all that, capping off a string of stories and a cool video about the event.
- The Peter Dinklage Destiny Lines We’ll Miss Most - Our Destiny-minded writers do their best to cover a game they’ve played for hundreds of hours, but we’ve been running into a minor complication lately. There’s a big new Destiny expansion coming next way and Game Informer secured about a month’s worth of coverage that they’ve been doling out day by day. Also, the game’s developers at Bungie have been issuing a lot of news directly. Jason and Kirk field that stuff as best they can, but it’s interfered with some of their plans for original pieces about the game. Thankfully, there are some Destiny stories that are unlikely to come from Bungie themselves, namely one that pays winking tribute to the abominable voice acting of actor Peter Dinklage, who will soon be erased from the game.
- I Just Finished The New Ace Attorney. It Was Fantastic. - One of the most underrated parts of Kotaku is the import preview, the write-ups of games that are out in Japan but have yet to make it to the Western market. North American-based readers should think of these at time machines that will help gamers know how good the next Rhythm Heaven, Fire Emblem and Xenoblade are actually going to be. Richard’s newest one is about the new Ace Attorney game, which doesn’t just add Sherlock Holmes but some intriguing gameplay twists. The game sounds terrific. Be aware of that now, so you’ll be able to brag about how ahead of the curve you were at your next cocktail party.
- Someone Built A Troll Level In Mario Maker, And Nintendo Actually Promoted It - This particular piece was partially a pick-up of something Patricia spotted at Siliconera, but it is also an example of the winning approach she is taking with the game, not covering it in a pre-release tips-and-tricks or feature-bullet-points kind of way, but already treating it as an active beat with interesting events happening in and arount it. See also this and this. This is the kind of approach to gaming coverage that I continue to believe serves readers best, though I’ll grant that it also remains a logistical challenge. Ideally, we cover the living community of a game, the give and take of players and creators, for weeks and months on end, as we have with Destiny, Mario Kart, League of Legends, Fallout, Dark Souls, Assassin’s Creed, Smash Bros. and as many others as we can keep up with.
A few other highlights: 1) A lovely pair of stories from Patrick and Nathan that both demonstrate the potential for gaming to make people feel good, 2) A pair of reviews by Luke that read as if they’re written by a smart, helpful friend—an ideal tone, 3) And a pair of stories, one by Nathan, one by me, that spotlight the ceaseless ingenuity of dedicated game creators and fans, respectively.
Most useful article we published last week: Andras’ rundown of all the big games coming out later this year. Budget your time and money accordingly!
Best headline of the week: So, I Fought the Boss with a Trillion Hit Points
Best GIF of the week, from Kirk’s thoughts about his first time playing Final Fantasy VI:
Best new hire of the week: Mike Fahey, a relative newcomer to the site. He’ll primarily be editing weekends for us as well as making videos about snacks, toys and the first five minutes of video games.
Got thoughts about what we published last week or about stories you’d like to see on the site? Let me know.