Stellar Blade’s ‘Censorship’ Circus, Remembering The First Sonic Trailer Five Years Later, And More Of The Week’s Gaming Opinions

Image for article titled Stellar Blade's 'Censorship' Circus, Remembering The First Sonic Trailer Five Years Later, And More Of The Week's Gaming Opinions

Image: Shift Up / Sony, Atlus, Kotaku / SB Arts Media (Shutterstock), Fellow Traveller, HoYoverse, Don’t Nod Entertainment, Bethesda Softworks, Screenshot: Paramount / Kotaku

This week, debates raged about supposed censorship in Stellar Blade. We also took a look at the upcoming game from the makers of Life Is Strange, remembered how the first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog, with its, uhh…unsettling take on the character…broke the internet five years ago, and more. 

Eve looks at the internet in shock.

Image: Shift Up / Sony

Stellar Blade is a PlayStation 5 sci-fi action exclusive about fighting monsters and saving humanity in a stylish post-apocalyptic world. So why are thousands of its self-identified fans signing a petition to “Free Stellar Blade” from censorship? The answer is surprisingly complicated and kind of sad. – Ethan Gach Read More

The cast of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance.

Image: Atlus

The video game industry has habitually repackaged things and put them on store shelves. Remakes and remasters are one side of the conversation, but Atlus, it seems, prefers to release “enhanced editions” like Persona 5 Royal and now Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance. These add new content and major quality-of-life overhauls, all for the hefty price of a brand-new game with no way for owners of the original to simply upgrade to the new version at a reduced price. When I got the chance to play through two hours of Vengeance, I was intrigued to get a sense of what Atlus has deemed merited a whole new video game. But I’m wrestling with how I feel about the company’s method of delivery. – Kenneth Shepard Read More

An image shows a dead body with a toe tag marked $60.

Image: Kotaku / SB Arts Media (Shutterstock)

While recent big-budget, $60+ games like Suicide Squad and Immortals of Aveum seem unable to find success, many smaller and weirder titles are exploding on Steam and developing large communities around them. Games like Helldivers 2, Palworld, Lethal Company, and Sons of the Forest are all major standouts for this year. And what do these games have in common? A cheaper price tag. – Zack Zwiezen Read More

Ugly Sonic screaming.

Screenshot: Paramount / Kotaku

Looking at the original trailer for the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movie is like looking into a portal to a different timeline, one where the film itself likely doesn’t herald the arrival of a massively successful film franchise that eventually spawns a bad Paramount+ spin-off. At best, it results in a Morbius-level hate-watch campaign and goes down in history as a great affront to the titular blue blur. But it’s been five years since that first trailer, showing a hedgehog who looked more like a human child in cosplay than the beloved video game hero, broke the internet, and it’s fascinating to look back and remember just how disastrous that original look really was. – Kenneth Shepard Read More

A robotic human stands on the outside of a space station

Image: Fellow Traveller

Just in time for its second anniversary, indie RPG Citizen Sleeper is getting a tabletop RPG (TTRPG) actual play set in the game’s universe. A collaboration between developer Jump Over The Age and games journalist Quintin Smith (of People Make Games), the actual play will air on May 7. It’s an exciting celebration for fans of 2022’s most underrated and unconventional RPG. But I’m here to tell anyone who hasn’t played Citizen Sleeper yet why they need to experience it ASAP. – Willa Rowe Read More

Art of a capybara in a scarf, beret, and jewelry

Image: HoYoverse

During Honkai: Star Rail’s Cosmodessy event, players were treated to a little personality test. Over the course of the minigame you’d be asked a series of questions, and in the end, based on your answers, you’d be assigned a personality linked to a game character. But the characters in the test weren’t the game’s main cast of characters like March 7th or Dan Heng; rather, they were characters from the game’s lore. One of these characters is a sentient capybara, and I need answers. – Willa Rowe Read More

Swann looks distressed into the camera.

Image: Don’t Nod Entertainment

The Life Is Strange series started as French developer Don’t Nod’s baby back when the first game’s episodic rollout began in 2015. After two games, publisher Square Enix has placed the franchise in the hands of Deck Nine Games, which worked on the prequel Before the Storm and the most recent game in the series, True Colors. Don’t Nod, meanwhile, announced it’s working on another adventure series about teenagers, relationships, and supernatural elements in Lost Records: Bloom & Rage. When Kotaku got to talk with creative director Michel Koch and executive producer Luc Baghadoust, we had to ask: If all these similar ingredients are in the pot, why is Don’t Nod not simply cooking up a new Life is Strange game? It sounds like working with the series’ publisher made it difficult for the team to tell the stories it wanted to tell. – Kenneth Shepard Read More

Gif: Square Enix / Shift Up / Claire Jackson / Kotaku

Over the weekend I spent a fair bit of time playing Stellar Blade, enjoying the action while doing my best to ignore the Discourse™. But that fun was killed when the game asked me to start moving around random boxes to complete elementary school math puzzles. And not just once, but multiple times in various areas throughout its open “Great Desert” map. Real fracking immersive, right? – Claire Jackson Read More

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A squad of Fallout 76 players cooperating in what appears to be a dungeon in an udnerground mine. The player leading the charge is wearing a Firebreathers' helmet.

Image: Bethesda Softworks

If you’re anything like me, you went looking for a Fallout game to play the second you were done with watching the well-received Amazon show. Despite the fact that the ending tees up a second season that will assuredly expound on New Vegas, a settlement from a similarly titled and beloved game, I zagged a bit and wound up playing Fallout 76, a survival-MMO based on the first-person RPGs. While functionally and aesthetically similar to Fallout 3 and other, more recent games in the series, Fallout 76 is more than just a multiplayer Fallout game: to me, there’s no better modern entry that picks up on some of the same threads as the show, and I think it’s worth digging into. – Moises Taveras Read More

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