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Game News

Nintendo Switch Lite Will Still Support Amiibo

Nintendo is releasing a smaller, cheaper Switch model this fall called the Nintendo Switch Lite. The system does away with a number of features found in the base model, so it won’t have detachable Joy-Cons, HD rumble, or be able to connect with a television, but one feature it will still have is Amiibo support.

GameSpot reached out to Nintendo to clarify if the Switch Lite will still be compatible with Amiibo, and a PR representative for the company confirmed the system will indeed work with the collectible figures. Just as with the standard model, you can tap an Amiibo on the right control stick and it will interact with a compatible game.

The Nintendo Switch Lite launches worldwide on September 20–the same day The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remake releases. The game will hit stores alongside an adorable new Link Amiibo figure, which will unlock an extra feature for the game’s dungeon maker mode. Other Zelda Amiibo will also be compatible with the title.

At launch, the Switch Lite will be available in three different colors: yellow, grey, and turquoise. Nintendo will also release a special edition Pokemon model on November 8, a few days ahead of the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield. That version will have a light grey body, cyan- and magenta-colored buttons, and an illustration of the games’ Legendary Pokemon, Zacian and Zamazenta, on the back.

While the Switch Lite won’t have detachable Joy-Cons, it will have one improvement over the standard Switch: a proper D-pad. It appears it’ll be the only model to boast one, as Nintendo says it has no plans to add a D-pad to Joy-Con controllers. You’ll also be able to move your data between the standard Switch and Switch Lite, although Nintendo hasn’t shared any details about how this will work yet. Check out our roundup of everything we know about Switch Lite for more on the new system.


Ubisoft Will Ban Players Who Crashed Rainbow Six Siege Matches By Spamming Chat Symbols

Ubisoft just fixed an exploit that was allowing Rainbow Six Siege players to force their opponents to lag by filling up the game’s chat window with random symbols. Players who abused it to get an advantage in the competitive shooter will be temporarily banned.

Exploits in Rainbow Six Siege are like Whac-A-Mole. When one gets fixed—like the Clash glitch that allowed the character to shoot through her shield—another pops up—like the shield making her invulnerable even to melee attacks. The latest issues players have been contending with revolves around the game’s chat window. When one team wanted to crash the game or cause their opponent’s lag to spike, they would fill the window with a string of as many symbols as it could take, usually dollar signs, greater than symbols, or ampersands.

By forcing the game to lag, the offending players were sometimes able to disrupt the matches at key times or force their opponents to disconnect entirely, something that was especially frustrating for those competing in the game’s ranked mode.

“We have now deployed the fix for the chat symbol exploit,” Ubisoft announced in a Reddit post last night. In addition, the company said that players who used it were guilty of breaking the part of the game’s Code of Conduct that forbids people from interrupting “the general flow of Gameplay in the Game Client.”

“These bans are targeting players that abused the chat symbol exploit to crash matches,” a studio rep noted. “They will have varying lengths, depending on the frequency and severity of the exploit’s usage. This is our next step towards sanctioning players that knowingly and deliberately take advantage of exploits to the detriment of the overall match.”

This immediately led some players to fear that they might be banned simply for triggering the exploit accidentally or trying to recreate it to confirm that it existed and was an issue. “We accounted for that,” senior community developer Craig Robinson said on Twitter. “If you did it less than 10 times you’re safe.”

Other players have already called on Ubisoft to crack down harder on people believed to be cheating. “On a side note, this should expand to people who use glitches (such as Clash shield) in Ranked,” wrote user LiberDBell on Reddit. Traditionally, the only players at risk of being banned in multiplayer games are those engaged in harassment or cheating enabled by third-party software. With this latest wave of bans, Ubisoft has made it clear it intends to also sanction players who try to cheat by exploiting problems in the game itself.

About the author

Ethan Gach

Kotaku staff writer. You can reach him at [email protected]


ESPN honors Madden shooting survivor for return to esports

A survivor of the mass shooting at a Madden NFL tournament last year in Jacksonville, Florida, will be presented with an ESPY award tonight.

Timothy “oLARRY” Anselimo, who also plays for Cavs Legion in the NBA 2K League, won Best Esports Moment via social media poll last night, for returning from his injuries to professional competition. Anselimo was shot four times in the Aug. 27, 2018, attack on a Madden League qualifying tournament at Jacksonville Landing. Two competitors that day died: Eli “TrueBoy” Clayton and Taylor “SpotMeplzzz” Robertson.

Anselimo’s right thumb was nearly severed by one gunshot. His former team, Bucks Gaming of Milwaukee, left him unprotected for the 2019 NBA 2K League expansion draft. One month after the shooting, Cavs Legion traded a player for the draft pick they used to take Anselimo.

As reported by ESPN back in May, Anselimo still has difficulty with his right hand; not only is his range of motion limited, but he deals with chronic pain and loss of feeling elsewhere in his hand. The tip of his right middle finger was also shot off. Anselimo told his mother that he would likely never play again.

With only 50 percent of his thumb’s motor skill available, Anselimo, who plays center in the NBA 2K League, has altered the way he holds the controller and uses his right index finger to compensate. Anselimo also confronts post-traumatic stress disorder, particularly as it involves going back into tournament environments like the one where he was shot.

The voting for Best Esports Moment began June 23, and came down to Anselimo and the Fortnite victory, by Ninja and Marshmello, at the Fortnite Pro-Am at E3 2018. Anselimo was the choice of 60 percent, with more than 230,000 votes cast.

Anselimo, of Brooklyn, is averaging 10 points and 6 rebounds, and has 12 blocks through 15 regular season games in the NBA 2K League this year. Cavs Legion is 8-7; its season wraps on Friday, July 19 against 8-5 76ers GC. The top seven teams from the regular season advance to the playoffs with wild card Warriors Gaming Squad. Cavs Legion is in 10th place and trails Celtics Crossover Gaming by two games in the loss column.

Created in 1993, ESPN’s ESPY Awards are are a midyear celebrity gala and awards show celebrating the previous year’s highlights and achievements in sports. It is best known for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which this year will go to basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Russell. The show airs July 10 at 8 p.m. EDT on ESPN.


What happened when a Fallout 76 fan pretended to be a beggar

Andreslamantis, a 36-year-old from Argentina, knew that Fallout 76 players were known for being helpful, as many take it upon themselves to be the NPCs of the wasteland. But how far would a player go to help a fellow comrade out? Andreslamantis tested this out with a special build where he could not meaningfully craft, mod, or scavenge — all he could do was rely on other players.

He was, in short, role-playing as a beggar, tattered clothes and all. Andreslamantis set up shop in Flatwoods, where both low-level players and veterans like to congregate. Here, he lies down on an empty mattress and waits for people to come by. He has put up a “Free Hugs” sign by his humble abode, in the hopes of drawing attention to his self-imposed situation.

a roadside house in Fallout 76 Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks via Andreslamantis

In the world of Fallout, beggars are extremely common, as post-apocalyptic conditions are harsh and not everyone has the means to live it up in a vault. Fallout 3, for example, has characters who will ask for purified water, which is somewhat of a rare commodity. If you gift them some water, you’ll gain karma, but if you deny them, they’ll die. In Fallout 76, which has no NPCs, poverty is a rare sight — after all, most players will go out into the world and get what they need by force. So seeing a player affect poor conditions has proven to be a startling sight for some fans.

One player, Andreslamantis recalls, stopped by and asked how he could help. Perhaps he could use some armor, or some guns? With an emote, Andreslamantis asked for a weapon, and the player went on to furnish a custom shotgun just for him.

Others strive to be helpful, but can be a little rude about it. “It makes me uncomfortable to see your bald head,” one wastelander said, before giving Andreslamantis a knit gray cap. Another player took offense to Andreslamantis’ attire, and told him to “put some clothes on” before giving him a Confederate outfit. Hours later, that same player came back to check on Andreslamantis to make sure he was OK. Unlike most Fallout 76 players, Andreslamantis largely stays in the same spot.

Andreslamantis likes to play up the drama with his role-playing. Sometimes, he uses an emote to make his character pretend to vomit in the rain, all in the hopes of getting some sympathy from other players. It works, too: The player who gave him an outfit also offered him some building materials. ”Build yourself a decent home,” the concerned player said.

The digital beggar does make use of what people give him — right now, he’s made the smallest wooden shack available in the game.

Not everyone has been nice to Andreslamantis, though. He claims that at least one player came up to him while he was sleeping to try to beat him up. He ran away, only to come back to a broken generator. But that’s OK; he was planning on dismantling his home base anyway.

“I will tear [my shack] apart in a week, and I’ll pretend it was destroyed by a storm,” he said.


Spider-Man: Far From Home didn’t show off these international Marvel heroes

One of the first building blocks of Spider-Man: Far From Home, according to its director, was that Peter Parker would be going on a European vacation. And the film delivers, with Spider-Man facing off against mighty foes in locations from Venice to London.

Much explanation is given in the film for why Spider-Man is almost the only superhero around to deal with these threats — Doctor Strange is unavailable, Thor is off-world, and we don’t even talk about Captain Marvel. There just aren’t that many super-powered hands to go around.

Not so in the Marvel Comics universe, where many of the places that come under threat in Spider-Man: Far From Home have friendly neighborhood guardians of their own. Come with me on a journey of who actually would have shown up to fight an elemental if Spider-Man: Far From Home had taken place in the comics — in every international location that appears in the movie.

[Ed. note: This post contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home.]

peter parker edith glasses Sony Pictures


OK, so Spider-Man doesn’t visit Mexico in Far From Home, but Mysterio sure does, to stage the appearance of an elemental and his defeat of it. That plan works out just fine when there are no local Mexican superheroes, but in the Marvel Comics setting, there are plenty of folks who might have showed up to throw down.

The best known Mexican Marvel superhero might be Julio Richter, the seismic-vibration generating X-Man known as Rictor, born and raised in Guadalajara — but he could easily be off with the X-Men instead of hanging around his home country. Don’t worry, though, because there’s a whole gaggle of Mexican superheroes in Marvel comics, including folks like the speedster Velocidad; or María Aracely Panalba, known as Hummingbird, who just might be the reincarnated form of the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli.


Did you know that Italy is home to Gemini, a super-powered anti-terrorist strike team? Members include the cyberkinetic Balance, the teleporting Mandala, and brothers Suede and Grip, with fire and claw powers, respectively.

Now, sure, Gemini has never been seen outside of their first appearance in 1996’s Europa #0, but maybe they could come out of hiding for a water elemental attack in Venice. And if not, Venice has its own particular superpowered enclave.

Namely, the Ennilux tribe of Inhumans, who defected from the main Inhuman city of Attilan thousands of years ago and set up shop in the canal city. By modern times, they’d secretly organized into a sort-of-corporation, sort-of-mafia, complete with CEO/mafia don known only as the Capo.

It would presumably come under the Ennilux’s notice if there was a massive water elemental trashing Venice’s canals. That sort of thing is bad for business, and they’re a business that’s full of superhumans.

Ben Grimm/the Thing battles the Golem on the cover of Marvel Comics Two-In-One #11, Marvel Comics (1975). Bob Brown/Marvel Comics

The Czech Republic

Now, Czech Republich isn’t as chockablock with superpowers as Mexico and Italy are, but the city of Prague itself has one ancient guardian all its own: the Golem.

The Golem of Prague is a figure of Jewish folklore, said to have been created by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel to defend Prague’s ghetto from pogroms. And the concept of golems — clay figures brought to life by holy words to do man’s bidding — has been incorporated into a lot of modern fantastical settings, including the Marvel Universe.

In Marvel Comics, the Golem of Prague is very real, appearing in The Incredible Hulk, and Strange Tales. It even battled the Thing in a Marvel Two-in-One story. However, the Marvel Comics version of the Golem is greatly weak to fire — which might explain why it didn’t show up to protect Prague from a lava monster.

That’s fair, Golem. That’s fair.


The Marvel universe has a lot of characters of German nationality … but most of them are not heroes. Among Germany’s more righteous men stands Markus Ettlinger, known as Vormund, who once battled Arnim Zola and hunted down the Red Skull alongside Captain America. His ability to redirect kinetic energy might have come in handy against all those bullet spewing drones in Berlin — provided he could have seen through Mysterio’s illusions.

The Netherlands

As far as I can tell there are no Marvel superheroes in the Netherlands. So it’s a good thing Spider-Man made only the briefest of visits here, and Mysterio wasn’t involved.

Then again, maybe if there had been another superhero around, Peter wouldn’t have had to get a ride to London from Happy.

Captain Britain in Avengers Assemble #15, Marvel Comics (2013). Al Ewing, Butch Guice/Marvel Comics


Marvel Comics have a wealth of United Kingdom-based superheroes, thanks to its long-running Marvel UK imprint, which brought Marvel Comics reprints and original stories to the British Isles. Among those British originals was Captain Britain, real name Brian Braddock, who was endowed with a suite of Superman-like powers by Merlin and charged with becoming Britain’s next great champion.

Needless to say, if a giant hurricane monster is attacking the Tower Bridge and armed drones are invading the Tower of London — Captain Britain would be on the case.

Which is all to say: Nick Fury really should have shared his Rolodex with Talos before heading to space, huh?


The Division 2 free update brings new missions and a new mode called Expeditions

One of the biggest parts of the roadmap for The Division 2’s updates is its episodic content that Ubisoft promised from the beginning. After a few updates, including a new specialization, and the game’s first raid, the developer has finally revealed the first part of Year 1’s free content: Episode 1 — D.C. Outskirts: Expeditions.

The update was revealed during this week’s state of the game livestream on Wednesday, where Ubisoft also gave fans a preview of what Episode 1 will include. Episode 1 will be released on July 23 for players that bought The Division 2’s Year 1 pass and on July 30 for all players.

The biggest new feature coming with Episode 1 is the new Expedition mode. This is an entirely different type of activity from anything that’s in the game now. Expeditions will take place in specific areas that are split into different wings. Each wing will have a specific theme and various enemies to fight through, but be released week by week. When players complete all three wings they’ll gain access to the Expedition’s treasure room. The first Expedition, which will be part of Episode 1, will take place in Kenly College where players will look for some lost military supplies.

Episode 1 will also feature two new missions for The Division 2: Camp White Oak and Manning National Zoo. Both missions will tie directly into the story of the game’s main campaign and continue to follow the Division agents as they try to take back D.C. and deal with the new threat that was revealed at the end of the game.

Episode 1 will also give players a new difficulty to complete the game’s first raid on called Discovery. This mode will include matchmaking, a long-requested feature, and be slightly easier, in hopes of allowing more players to complete the raid if they want to. The patch will also make a few smaller additions to new weapons and armor, including a new exotic of each. Finally, this update will also add in a few balance changes to the game, though we’ll have to wait for release to know what those changes might look like.


Do Breath of the Wild recipes taste good in real life?

Link has never been a chef. Judging by his constant diet of potions and milk, it seems like he doesn’t care much for the culinary arts.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild changed that. Suddenly, Link could cook! Moreover, he was good at cooking, combining ingredients to completely heal his wounds. But here’s the thing:

Did any of them taste good?

I hopped into the test kitchen of our sibling site Eater with help from Adam Moussa, and we cooked all 78 recipes from the game. You can see our full guidelines for cooking in the video, but here’s the basic gist:

  1. We couldn’t add any ingredients that aren’t listed in the original recipe (including salt and pepper, since those are ingredients in some of the recipes).
  2. We had to make everything in a wok or a pan, because that’s how Link did it.
  3. We had to rank their heart bonuses based on how tasty they were. Amazing? That’s 10 hearts. Terrible? That’s one heart, or dubious food. Transcendent? That’s adding bonus hearts.

Without spoiling it, I’ll say that Link’s recipes were better than expected. That said, my main advice to Link is to be comfortable with the simple recipes. And for the love of god, do not try to make egg puddings.

If you want to watch more Unraveled, check out our playlist and subscribe to Polygon’s YouTube channel!


Mario Maker 2 master makes upside-down kaizo level, and it’s horrifying

Kaizo levels are famed for being the most grueling courses that Mario fans can play — and that’s with a normal perspective. With the release of Super Mario Maker 2, which gives players unusual tools to craft levels, expert fans are trying out things that we’ve never seen before. Take, for instance, this Kaizo level that is played entirely upside down.

Lord. I’m getting kinda queasy just looking at the footage, never mind trying to play it.

Pit of PePanga: Panger Things is the latest creation of PangaeaPanga, a Super Mario Bros. player famed for making monstrous levels that were said to be the hardest courses ever made for the first Super Mario Maker. For the first game, it became a badge of honor to have a Panga level under your belt.

While Mario Maker 2 hasn’t been out for very long, it’s becoming clear that the same thing is going to happen with the sequel. As of this writing, a mere 13 people have beaten Panger Things, which gives it a clear rate of 0.14 percent.

If Panga’s name sounds familiar, it’s possible you’ve seen the viral Twitter footage of an earlier course he made this year, which is being hailed as the toughest Super Mario 3D World level around.

As of this writing, DieVine Garden has only been passed 20 times out of 279,956 tries, which gives it an in-game clear rate of 0.00 percent. Appropriately, the course has comments like “HELP,” “end me,” and “I give up.”

Panger Things, therefore, must be a tinge easier than some of Panga’s more devilish creations — the creator comment on the level marks it as “short and sweet.” The level is still going to put up a fight, though: comments here range from “I tried” to a simple 🙁 emoticon. If you dare: QRF-6LX-LJG.


Some Hilarious Zelda Talk I Overheard At The Rock Climbing Gym

Kotaku Game DiaryDaily thoughts from a Kotaku staffer about a game we’re playing.  

When your job involves talking about video games all day, you get pretty attuned to hearing people mention them when you’re outside of work. While eavesdropping can be a way to learn what games people are playing and thinking about, it can also provide neat insight into how those games fit into their lives.

I’ve just gotten into rock climbing, and on Saturday night I went to the climbing gym near my house. I’ve been on a somewhat maddening hiatus for a few weeks because I’d hurt myself, and even though I told myself to take it easy on Saturday, I was so excited to be back at my new hobby that I was throwing myself at challenging bouldering routes in no time.

Before I started climbing, I didn’t know how psychological the sport is—it’s as much about solving a little puzzle as it is physical strength. Routes have a “crux,” a part where they get particularly tricky. I was stuck on one route’s crux, hanging horizontally while trying to figure out how to haul my far-too-spread body around a sort of corner and get back to vertical, when I heard some people near me talking. They were not talking about rock climbing.

“So you have to find these little, like, leaf guys,” one person was saying to the others, “and they kind of laugh?”

“They pop up when you find stuff,” another explained. “And they go, like, how does it go?..” He made a loud, high-pitched laugh.

I realized they were talking about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in particular the Korok seeds you can find scattered around the game’s map. When you find one, a Korok—a weird little monster with a leaf face—pops up and makes a very distinct cackle.

I tried to concentrate on my climbing, but the little group was determined to exactly emulate to their friend how the Koroks laugh.

“It’s, like, ‘yahoo!’” one said, sounding more like Mario than a Korok.

“No,” the other corrected, “like ‘yo-ho-ho!’”


“Right! Yahaha!” They both made the sound together eagerly.

Their imitation was so spot-on, and they were so delighted to have figured it out, that I started laughing. This was, of course, not that helpful for climbing. I promptly fell off my perch and dropped to the mat below.

I never quite know what to do when I hear people talking about video games in public. Once, I overheard someone trying to remember the release date of a video game and tried to help, only to get into an argument about it. They kept insisting on the wrong date, and I kept insisting on the right one—I knew I was right in part because I used to be in charge of keeping Kotaku’s game release calendar and had entered the correct date myself that day—but they wouldn’t believe me. In a less-than-noble moment, I finally said, “Look, I work at Kotaku, and I know I’m right.” They continued not to believe me, and I’m sure thought I was a pretentious jerk.

Recently, I was riding the subway when two teenagers near me were talking about Fortnite. One of them was trying to explain a building move called 90s to the other, but they couldn’t quite describe it. They kept challenging each other:

You don’t know what 90s are!”

“Yes I do!”

“OK, explain it then.”

You explain it!”

I wondered if I should help, but I didn’t want to be some strange adult popping into two kids’ conversation about video games. (I will also admit that, in the moment, I couldn’t quite explain what 90s are either.)

In these moments, I put pressure on myself to be an expert. When people find out what I do for work, they often want game recommendations, which can be hard to offer a stranger. Sometimes they tell me fascinating things about games they love—I met an older man at a bar once who proudly told me he only owns five games, mostly Souls games, and he’s going to play them forever. We talked about how excited he was for Sekiro, and he knew way more about the then-upcoming game than I did. It was cool to get excited for something through the experience of a player instead of through the internet or my professional colleagues.

I don’t know why those people at the gym were thinking about Breath of the Wild instead of rock climbing, but it was a fun distraction. It was cool to learn that other people at the gym share more of my hobbies than just climbing. I didn’t manage to complete the climbing problem I was working on that night, but now I’m going to think of Zelda whenever I try. 


Marvel’s Star Wars relaunch adds another wrinkle to Han and Leia’s relationship

Marvel announced at this year’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago that its main Star Wars comic series would be handed over to a new team this summer. At the helm for Marvel’s Star Wars #68 this week are writer Greg Pak and Eisner-nominated artist Phil Noto, and the results are spectacular.

The biggest change by far is in the look of the series’ iconic characters. Gone are the stiff bodies and warped, painted-on faces that the series has been criticized for over the past few years. In their place is Noto’s confident linework and an expressive grasp of human emotion. You’re not seeing Harrison Ford’s half-smile on these pages, you’re seeing Noto’s interpretation of Han Solo’s half-smile. It feels natural and effective on the page.

A page from Marvel’s Star Wars #68, by Pak and Noto, showing off Noto’s grasp of the facial features needed to convey the essence of Han Solo and Princess Leia Organa. Marvel Comics (2019). Greg Pak, Phil Noto/Marvel Comics

On the writing side, Pak has an excellent grasp of what’s missing from the arc of these characters. This first issue primes the series to fill in the gaps after Star Wars: A New Hope and reveal something about what happened to change our heroes in the lead up to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

[Ed. note: The rest of this piece contains spoilers for Star Wars #68.]

A page from Marvel’s Star Wars #68 featuring Luke Skywalker on a desert planet. He’s a bit lost, and misses Ben Kenobi very badly. Marvel Comics (2019). Greg Pak, Phil Noto/Marvel Comics

As far as the plotline goes, this issue boldly splits the party not once but twice. Luke is sent off to a desert planet for a solo mission and some quiet self-reflection with R2-D2. Meanwhile, Chewbacca and C-3PO are sent to a deserted lava planet where a few panels of genuine buddy comedy ensues.

The main throughline sits with Han and Leia, however, who are sent on an undercover mission on a populous planet near the galactic core. The upside is that we get to see the pair donning some fairly upscale, cyberpunk-style disguises. And while we all know that the two are about to kindle their romance in Empire, this issue also reveals, on its final page, Princess Leia’s current love interest.

“Remember when we found out you had a wife?” Leia quips.

“We’ve been over this. Sana wasn’t my wife,” Han says, referring to a major character named Sana Starros, a bounty hunter who was introduced in the Showdown on Smuggler’s Moon arc from 2015.

“Okay, fine,” Leia says. “Then Dar Champion is not my boyfriend.”

Suffice it to say, I’m thrilled at what Pak and Noto have presented in this first issue. No word on how long their tenure will last, but I hope it’s a good long one.

Han Solo and Leia Organa rocking some very cyberpunk disguises in Marvel’s Star Wars #68. Marvel Comics (2019). Greg Pak, Phil Noto/Marvel Comics