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The Best Mario Ever, Rise Of The Ronin, And More Of The Week's Hottest Takes

Screenshot: Pepsi Co / Xbox / Kotaku, Team Ninja / Kotaku, Image: Lucasfilm / Disney / Aspyr, Atlus, Nintendo, Acquire / Team Ninja / Kotaku, Monolith Soft / Square Enix / Kotaku, The Pokémon Company, Nintendo / Kotaku
Screenshot: Pepsi Co / Xbox / Kotaku, Team Ninja / Kotaku, Image: Lucasfilm / Disney / Aspyr, Atlus, Nintendo, Acquire / Team Ninja / Kotaku, Monolith Soft / Square Enix / Kotaku, The Pokémon Company, Nintendo / Kotaku

The third week of March was an eclectic one for gaming news. We’re still hyped for Unicorn Overlord, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and the upcoming samurai adventure Rise of the Ronin. But we’re a little less enthusiastic about the new Star Wars remasters. These are the flaming hot takes you need to know for this week.

Geoff Keighley Finally Tweets About Layoffs, And The Timing Is Awfully Convenient

Screenshot: Pepsi Co / Xbox / Kotaku
Screenshot: Pepsi Co / Xbox / Kotaku

Geoff Keighley briefly, and barely, addressed the recent, historic number of layoffs that have hit the video game industry already this year, after failing to do so for months. But before I could even give the guy some credit for doing the bare minimum, he turned around and started advertising his next big video game event, seemingly revealing the true reason he finally decided to tweet about layoffs at all. - Zack Zwiezen Read More

Rise Of The Ronin Is A Cat Lover’s Paradise

Screenshot: Team Ninja / Kotaku
Screenshot: Team Ninja / Kotaku

Just as I arrive in Yokohama, one of Rise of the Ronin’s three major cities, I hear a soft meowing in the distance. Spurred by what must be the cutest of cats, I sprint off in the direction of the mews when I encounter a dilapidated bandit camp. I kill everyone there, not just because the game’s swordplay is fantastic, but because I so very desperately wanna pet the kitty. This has become my obsession in Team Ninja’s latest RPG, and as a cat parent myself, I believe this game—and this feline-hunting objective—will make cat lovers swoon. - Levi Winslow Read More

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection Is A Messy Stumble Down Memory Lane

Image: Lucasfilm / Disney / Aspyr
Image: Lucasfilm / Disney / Aspyr

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection, which combines remastered versions of the first two Pandemic-developed games, is now out on consoles and PC. And while I’m enjoying the chance to replay this favorite of mine from yesteryear, bugs and other problems make it tricky to recommend in its current state. - Zack Zwiezen Read More

Unicorn Overlord’s Greatness Is Distilled In A Piece Of Optional Side Content

Image: Atlus
Image: Atlus

For fans of tactics and strategy games, the recent release of Unicorn Overlord is a decadent treat. The latest from developer Vanillaware delivers large-scale battles full of varied and complex systems, requiring the player to constantly pay attention to the micro and macro of a fight. Within the large fantasy world of Fevrith is the coliseum of Baumratte, an optional feature that many players may never interact with. Don’t make that mistake. Those who do take up arms within the coliseum are treated to a perfect distillation of everything good about Unicorn Overlord, and it is not to be missed. - Willa Rowe Read More

The Best Mario Games, According To You

Image: Nintendo
Image: Nintendo

Another Mar10 Day has come and gone, and with it came several surprisingly big announcements. While Nintendo celebrated the Italian plumber’s holiday by solidifying release dates for the Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door remake and officially announcing a new animated movie, we here at Kotaku celebrated by asking you, the readers, what your favorite Mario games are from the series’ nearly 40-year-long run. - Kenneth Shepard Read More

Rise Of The Ronin Is This Obscure Samurai Game’s Spiritual Successor

Tell me, which of these is Rise of the Ronin? I’ll wait. - Image: Acquire / Team Ninja / Kotaku
Tell me, which of these is Rise of the Ronin? I’ll wait. - Image: Acquire / Team Ninja / Kotaku

I’ve been having a great time with Rise of the Ronin, Team Ninja’s open-world samurai action game that launches as a PlayStation 5 exclusive on March 22. Not only are there a plethora of cats to find and pet, but there’s also a wealth of freedom in how you live your life during Japan’s Bakumatsu period (or the final years of the Shogunate). There are echoes of Sucker Punch Productions’ studio’s Ghost of Tsushima, sure, but the latest game from the Nioh and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty team has a lot more in common with a lowkey samurai game from the aughts you might not have heard of. You could say that this obscure game had to walk so Rise of the Ronin could run. - Levi Winslow Read More

FF7 Rebirth Has More In Common With 2022’s Best RPG Than You Think

Image: Monolith Soft / Square Enix / Kotaku
Image: Monolith Soft / Square Enix / Kotaku

Stepping out into the seaside region of Junon at the start of chapter four of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, I can feel the sun beaming down on Cloud and the gang as it was setting along the ocean’s horizon and painting the fields in a soothing orange glow. The craggy cliffs pave routes for my new rock-climbing chocobo to take me in and around nooks and crannies that contain traces of an bygone generation. And every so often, I stop in my tracks to take in the view, always with the massive Upper Junon cannon far in the background contrasting with the stretches of land in between. And every time, I can’t help but let that overwhelming sense of scale wash over me. - Michael Higham Read More

The New Pokémon Anime Proves Leaving Ash Was The Right Decision

Image: The Pokémon Company
Image: The Pokémon Company

It’s been over a year since The Pokémon Company announced that Ash Ketchum, the long-time protagonist of the anime series, would be leaving the show and making room for new heroes. After a few final tribute episodes to Ash, who had led the show for a quarter century, Pokémon Horizons took over as the series’ primary syndicated cartoon and introduced its new characters to the world. That series has been airing in Japan for almost an entire year, and Americans have been waiting for far too long to be able to watch along. But we finally have the first 12 episodes on Netflix, and folks, the Pokémon anime is gonna be alright. - Kenneth Shepard Read More

Does This AI-Powered Gaming Device Pass Our Smell Test?

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The GameScent emits five different aromas to make the on-screen action even more immersive

Switch 2 Needs To Finally Give Us A Waluigi Game

Image: Nintendo / Kotaku
Image: Nintendo / Kotaku

Every March 10 (MAR10), we gather around and sing the praises of Nintendo’s Mario series and its eponymous hero, and for good reason! Mario and his respective franchise are basically the unofficial mascot for all of video games, and there’s little the guy hasn’t done over the years. Beginning as a beleaguered, but humble, plumber, Mario has retaken the Mushroom Kingdom and saved Princess Peach from Bowser nearly too many times to count. He’s shot fire and ice from his hands, flown through the skies thanks to a winged cap, found a way to jump into paintings, and traveled among the stars at least a few times. In fact, I say that we should give the guy a break given everything he’s accomplished. He’s got friends and family more than willing to pick up the slack. - Moises Taveras Read More

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