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Gaming News

Pokemon Go Limited Research Event (Tomorrow Only): Start Time, Research Rewards, And More

Niantic is kicking off a new type of event in Pokemon Go this weekend. On Saturday, January 19, the studio is holding the game’s first-ever Limited Research event, which will feature special Field Research tasks–and an opportunity to catch a new Shiny Pokemon–for a limited time.

Much like Pokemon Go’s monthly Community Days, the Limited Research event will only run for three hours. During that window of time, you’ll be able to receive special Limited Research tasks when you spin the Photo Disc at a PokeStop. These tasks can be completed at any time after you’ve obtained them, but they’ll only be distributed during the event hours, and you’ll only get one from each PokeStop you visit.

Every Limited Research task will culminate in an encounter with Feebas, the first form of the majestic Water Pokemon Milotic. Additionally, Niantic says you’ll have a chance of coming across a Shiny Feebas, making this the first time this particular Shiny will be available in the game. You can find the event hours for each region below.

On top of the Limited Research event, Niantic is holding a big Hoenn celebration in Pokemon Go right now. Until January 29, Gen 3 Pokemon will appear much more frequently in the wild. Moreover, you’ll have a chance of catching Shiny variants of Zigzagoon and Taillow, while any Shroomish you evolve into Breloom will learn the move Grass Knot.

The Gen 3 Legendaries Groudon and Kyogre have also returned as part of the Hoenn celebration, giving you another chance to add them to your collection. There are new Field Research tasks revolving around Gen 3 Pokemon as well, and new avatar items based on Team Aqua and Team Magma–the villainous teams from Ruby and Sapphire–are available in the game’s Style Shop.

Pokemon Go Limited Research Event Schedule

The Americas and Greenland

  • 11 AM – 2 PM PT
  • 2 PM – 5 PM ET

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

  • 10 AM – 1 PM UTC


  • 12 PM – 3 PM JST (January 20)


An Eye-Popping Neon Throwback To Classic Shooters

Bad Vibes is a colorful first person shooter that is a feast for the senses. Sometimes all you want to do is shoot some baddies and work through some negative feelings. What better way to do that then with some magic orbs and trippy sights?

Bad Vibes, created by pfail, has been out since 2017 and has received a few updates since then. The concept is simple: you’re in a maze and need to survive. That means avoiding aliens and acid pits while looking for a few colorful stickers that will chase away your bad vibes. Bad Vibes describes itself as “pure shooter madness, the way it was intended to be,” and it does a good job capturing the straightforward experience of early first person games. Why are there monsters? Why am I so engrossed in this? All I know is, I really want to have a high score.

Shooters are a dime a dozen these days, so Bad Vibes compensates for that with a bright style that is somewhere between MS-DOS and someone’s nightmare scribblings. The result is that Bad Vibes works incredibly well as a sensory experience. Its mixture of chirpy bloops and techno beats with its alternative hot and cold colors makes it easy to immerse yourself in the raw experience. I recommend booting Bad Vibes up for a ten minute shootfest to let off some steam.


Mortal Kombat 11 – Every Fatality and Fatal Blow So Far

In Mortal Kombat 11, spines are broken and skulls are crushed. We’ve captured a deeper look into the gruesomely epic collection of the fatalities and fatal blows that we have seen so far. Mortal Kombat 11 releases on April 29, 2019.


Ace Combat 7’s Most Lovable Character Is A Picture Of A Dog

The cutscenes in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown take place in gorgeously rendered environments populated by excellent 3D character models. Also, this static picture of a very good dog.

Introduced in a lengthy cutscene leading into the game’s sixth mission, Ace Combat Dog sits stoically by its master’s side. Its tail never wags in excitement. Its chest never heaves with breath. Its body wavers slightly in what seems to be a heat haze, but otherwise the dog is as still as the photo it obviously is. Why a two dimensional dog? I do not know, but I feel like Twitter’s @Watchsymphogear’s explanation is the best.

Ace Combat Dog has to move at some point. When first introduced, it’s looking up to its master, the princess of the fictional kingdom of Eursea, adoringly.


In the next shot, it’s looking into the camera. Or at least its eyes are pointed toward the viewer. It’s unclear whether or not Ace Combat Dog can even see into our complex third dimension.

Either way, Ace Combat Dog is a lovable pupper, and we hope to see it in more games in the future. Or even right now, via the magic of transparent PNG files.


Now we can take Ace Combat Dog everywhere. Like Eorzea.


The world of Mirror’s Edge.

And even Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo’s Nintendo Switch.


So spread the Ace Combat Dog love. Just because it’s two dimensional doesn’t mean it doesn’t love hugs.


New Power Rangers Fighting Game Trailer Confirms Mighty Morphin’ Green Is Still The Best

A new Power Rangers fighting game, titled Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, has been announced. Despite featuring characters from the mobile game, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, Battle for the Grid is a brand-new title that’s been designed with consoles in mind.

According to a tweet from the official Battle for the Grid Twitter account, the game will “feature a completely brand new battle mechanic” in comparison to Legacy Wars, as well as “different movesets” for each fighter. Hasbro creative director Jason Bischoff tweeted that Battle for the Grid would include both a story mode and online PvP, DLC content, and both cross-play and cross-progression across systems. He added that, unlike Legacy Wars, Battle for the Grid would not be free-to-play.

An announcement trailer for Battle for the Grid teases what combat in the new game looks like. On Battle for the Grid’s official website, combat is described as being “easy to learn but hard to master” with the challenge coming from knowing “when to strike, not how.”

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Battle for the Grid features heroes and villains from throughout the Power Ranger franchise’s years of TV shows, movies, and comics. The announcement trailer sees Mighty Morphin’ Green Ranger v2, who’s still the best version of Tommy Oliver, taking on both Mighty Morphin’ Red Ranger and Super Megaforce Yellow Ranger. Battle for the Grid’s website also confirms Lord Drakkon–an alternate universe version of Mighty Morphin’ Tommy Oliver who went on to become an evil Green/White Ranger hybrid that desires to destroy every Ranger across the multiverse–will be in the game as well. According to the game’s website, there are 11 more characters scheduled for the game, but their identities have not been revealed.

Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC in April 2019. If you pre-order the game, you’ll receive the Mighty Morphin’ Green Ranger v2 character skin.


A Game About Slapping An Ass Gave Me Embarrassing Flashbacks

Story time! I went to an all-girls’ school. My friends and I had that special bond of closeness that apparently comes with synced-up periods and measuring the length of each other’s winter leg hair. This, obviously, led to a brief era of trying to catch one of the others unawares with the most impressive, most unexpected spank possible. We’re talking sneaking up behind each other in the hallway and laying one down that made the earth shake. If I couldn’t read your palm from the imprint, you weren’t doing a good enough job.

NSFW WARNING: this piece contains many bums. Some are animated GIFs.

In time, this led to the era of being very, very cautious about our bums. Which meant that, one sunny day in the common room, when I saw my friend Alice bending over in front of me, it was like a quick-time event: the world became slow-motion and greyed-out as my splayed hand took a run up.

It wasn’t until afterwards, as I stood proudly in the reverberating spank-sound that rippled into the silence, that I chanced to see Alice across the room, decidedly un-spanked, and saw the innocent spankee stand and turn to reveal that she was a girl that had joined the school only three months before. And, therefore, definitely not Alice.

My genius solution was to immediately face the other way and pretend that I hadn’t just been caught literally red-handed. I felt, and still feel, awful. It might have been an accident, but she didn’t know that. Sometimes I wonder what she must have thought of me, as I lie awake at night reliving my worst decisions.

But good news! I can now relive that horrifying moment of mistaken bumdentity with spank-focused game, Slappy Ass! And I can pay $3.50 on for the pleasure!


Slappy Ass doesn’t mess around. It does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s a screen full of one giant ass, which you can spank. Spanking fills up a heart meter—which pulls double-duty as a butt icon! So clever. When the meter gets full, it gives you a gift, whichrange from new skins and underwear to new toys that you can use on the ass.

In Slappy Ass, the player starts off with the most basic of slappy tools: their own hand. You can expand your box of toys by filling the spankmeter, which will get you items like the riding crop, a pair of lips (to kiss the bum), and some rather medieval-torture-like instruments, which can zap the butt while making a guitar noise, or some kind of… pink… portal… thing? I’m not sure if I’m just not au fait with butt-spanking implements, or if that’s just a fantasy toy. I can’t even tell if it feels nice. It looks a bit like what I imagine breast pumps feel like. At least it keeps the spankmeter going up!


My own hand, seen here playing the rhythm game. What does that have to do with spanking? I don’t know.

It seems like once the ass is used to being slapped, however, that the meter fills up slower. It feels less like a fun slappy game at this point and more like one of those endless clickers, even if the “clicking” part is slightly more interactive than usual—the disembodied buttcheeks have a pleasantly perky bounce to them, and redden nicely whether you’re spanking, whipping, or portal-torturing them.

The butt stuff starts getting a little repetitive after a while, especially with the slow increase in the meter refills, and it can be a little disappointing to spend five minutes on spank-clicking only to get an ambient background for your trouble, or worse, a zombie skin for the butt that makes it look like you’re into a very specific type of necrophilia. There are minigames, which range from a dull Guitar-Hero-like rhythm game with only one note to a slightly confusing bar-filling game that seems to require you to mash-spank the butt, but it’s not clear what these are for, exactly, other than breaking up the butt-monotony.


The butt twitches even when you’re not spanking. Or maybe it’s dancing.

Spanking can be a lot of things. It can be fun, painful, entertaining, sexy, punishing, and even so embarrassing that you melt into a puddle of shame. I had not yet realized the potential of spanking as a tedious exercise until I played Slappy Ass, the game that begins as a fun, silly jiggle simulator and slowly develops into a dull clicker with no real reward unless you really love to spank CGI physics-enabled butts in a multitude of colors.

Ah, well. $3.50 spent on a couple of hours of spanking that made for some entertaining gifs? At least no butts were hurt in the process. And for what it’s worth, ten years on, I’m really sorry, [NAME REDACTED].


PS4 Flash Sale Happening Now On US PlayStation Store

This week’s PSN sale may be fairly underwhelming, but those aren’t the only deals to be had on the PlayStation Store right now. Sony has kicked off a surprise PSN flash sale in the US, offering discounts on a ton of great titles for PS4, PS3, and Vita. But you’ll need to hurry, as the deals won’t be available for very long.

From now until January 21, more than 200 PS4 games are on sale for $20 or less. That includes the acclaimed platformer Hollow Knight, which is available for $9.89. Also on sale is Tearaway Unfolded, the PS4 port of LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule’s Vita platformer; it can be yours for $10. Meanwhile, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition and LA Noire are down to $20 apiece, and Just Cause 3 is $8.

If you’ve got a soft spot for classic titles, you can pick up Dragon’s Lair Trilogy for $10. The fast-paced frisbee game Windjammers is also on sale for $7.49, while Rockstar’s first western, Red Dead Revolver, is discounted to $9. Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, a great remake of the classic Sega Master System game, is $10, and the arcadey Super Mega Baseball 2 is $12.

Other notable deals include Life Is Strange – Complete Season ($6), Divinity: Original Sin – Enhanced Edition ($10), Floor Kids ($12), Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris ($6), and Life Is Strange: Before the Storm – Complete Season ($6.79). You can see some other PS4 deals below.

The PSN flash sale is scheduled to end at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET on January 21. The full list of deals can be found on the PlayStation Store and the PlayStation Blog.


New The Division 2 PvP Details Announced, Including How The Dark Zones Work

Ubisoft has announced how PvP play will look in The Division 2. There will be two forms of PvP multiplayer in the game–the first of which takes place in the game’s Dark Zones.

Similar to its predecessor’s Dark Zone, The Division 2’s three Dark Zones–of which there is an east, south, and west–are PvEvP areas where you can choose to take action against other players. In a blog post, Ubisoft explained how it has changed the way players will perceive you if you perform aggressive actions against others. There are three statuses you can hold if you attack other players in one of the Dark Zones.

If you’re mostly performing aggressive, yet relatively harmless actions–such as stealing from other players or hijacking a supply drop–you’ll be labeled as a Rogue. As a Rogue, you can enter Thieves Den, which operates as a black market that randomly moves around the Dark Zones. Exiting the Den returns you to your normal state, but killing a player while Rogue will cause you to become Disavowed.

Being Disavowed paints a target on your back. Any other player that kills you earns a bounty, so you’ll have to be careful while exploring the Dark Zones. If you kill enough players, you’ll be upgraded to Manhunt status. You’ll still have to contend with bounty hunters while at Manhunt status, but you’ll be able unlock huge rewards if you can reach one of the three random SHD terminals and clear your notoriety.

The Division 2’s second form of PvP play is a more traditional, organized multiplayer called Conflict. Conflict is split into two modes, Skirmish and Domination. Skirmish is team deathmatch, while Domination is focused on capturing objectives and defending them from the other team. Ubisoft has announced three maps for both modes will launch with the game: Capital Ruins, Stadium, and Georgetown.

The Division 2 releases for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 15. The PC version of the game, previously scheduled for Steam, will now come out exclusively on the Epic Games Store. If you want to try out the game before deciding whether or not to buy it, there’s a beta scheduled for all three systems that launches next month.


Black Ops 4’s Latest Zombies Update Is A Lurch In The Right Direction

Black Ops 4’s Zombies mode wasn’t a big hit with the community when it arrived last fall, and what’s happened in the months since then hasn’t helped its reputation. But this week’s update is a step in the right direction.

In my initial review of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, I professed my frustrations of being a long-time Zombies player feeling overwhelmed at the menus. There was a buffet of content, offering a million options to decide how you wanted to play. Eventually, the menus became less daunting, and I found the modes and maps I enjoyed the most. I liked the frantic pace of the arcadey Rush mode, but I often wanted to hunt Easter eggs or go for high rounds with my friends. Unfortunately, all of Black Ops 4’s Zombies maps were prone to high-round blue screen crashes, which was especially annoying to the Zombies players who live for speed runs, high rounds, and complex Easter egg hunts.

The crashing plagued Zombies for almost an entire month without any real communication from Treyarch, leaving the community feeling frustrated and forgotten. Treyarch finally addressed the mode’s instability on November 7 in a statement, and patches slowly resolved crashes across all of the maps. Within that announcement was also the promise of more updates and transparency going forward.

When Black Ops 4’s Contraband Streams were announced, a loot progression system similar to Fortnite’s Battle Pass, the Zombies community was bummed to learn that playing their preferred mode wouldn’t help them level up at all. Only gameplay in standard multiplayer or Blackout would advance players in the Contraband tiers, so Zombies players felt left out once again.

On December 11, the “Dead of the Night” DLC map became available for Black Ops Pass holders. Treyarch also added Daily Skip Tiers to Zombies, which allows players to have a match of Zombies count towards advancing one tier in the current Contraband Stream. Regular gameplay still doesn’t count towards the loot grind, but Daily Skip Tiers are a start, I guess.


Personally, I haven’t indulged in very much zombie slaying since the arrival of the Contraband Streams because I’ve been grinding tiers for new guns and colorful Specialist skins. Gunning down the undead in a casual match of Zombies just feels like punishing myself with gameplay that won’t get me much closer to the high-level guns or skins I want.

Up until this week, Black Ops 4 Zombies has felt like a ton of content with very little reward. Treyarch is the original creator of Call of Duty Zombies, so where’s the love?


Some love finally arrived on January 15, which is also known to the community as 115 Day, a nod to the fictional Element 115 that created the zombies in Treyarch’s ongoing narrative. Treyarch kicked off the 115 Day celebration with Black Ops 4’s biggest Zombies update yet.

The most notable feature of the celebration is the arrival of Gauntlets on PlayStation 4, which are 30-round challenges with unique rules that restrict how you must play or finish each round. There’s a melee only round, a headshots only round, and rounds that restrict your perks or guns.The 30 rounds are divided into three sections: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. If you fail any round’s requirements, you receive a strike and must restart the round. Three strikes and you’re out.


This first Gauntlet, “Unsinkable,” takes place on the Voyage of Despair map, but Treyarch has teased that another Gauntlet will arrive later in the month. As always, Xbox One and PC players are waiting a week to have access to the new Black Ops 4 content, so they’ll be celebrating 115 Day on January 22.

There were notable changes to Zombies’ temporary “Elixir” consumable perks. Three new Elixirs were added, and six existing Elixirs received some tweaking. One of the most notable changes is a buff to Sword Flay, which now allows melee attacks to instantly kill basic zombies and vermin enemies for the fixed duration of the Elixir, and it’ll deal 5 times the damage to all other enemy types. The 115 celebration also comes with double experience rewards.

A 115 Day blog post detailed what’s to come in the future for Zombies. Players have been asking for Gold, Diamond, and Dark Matter camos to be available in Zombies, and the 115 announcement promises these camos will arrive in the “coming weeks” along with their own unique challenges. More weapons and a new perk will also be available soon.


115 Day successfully delivered Gauntlet challenges that provide addictive replay value. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to cut down my overall time for completing the challenges, and I can easily see how this could create some intense speed runs for the community.

I finally want to play Zombies again, but I think Treyarch still missed the mark on the rewards as there aren’t enough bragging rights for mastering such a grueling gauntlet. You receive Bronze, Silver, and Gold Unsinkable Calling Cards for your efforts. A unique camo or face paint could be added to beef up the rewards for future Gauntlets, but I think Treyarch could get more creative here. I hope we’re on the path to seeing more challenge and rewards in future updates, and finally moving away from the stumbles and blue screens.


Maybe It’s Time For Some Weirder Star Wars Games

Maybe it’s time for Disney to ditch EA and open up Star Wars to the masses, perhaps even conducting a game jam? On this week’s Kotaku Splitscreen, we discuss.

First up, we talk about the games we’re playing including Resident Evil 2, Danganronpa, and Destiny 2‘s dungeon, Shattered Throne. Then we talk about a wild week of news (32:41) including Bungie’s divorce from Activision, messy litigation at Gearbox, and EA cancelling its open-world Star Wars game. (And, oh, hey, Kotaku broke all three of those stories.) We close things off with an off-topic chat (1:18:58), the NFL playoff story of the week, and Kirk’s music pick.

Listen here:

Get the MP3 here, or read an excerpt:

Maddy: I recall reading a story by you Jason earlier today saying that perhaps EA should not be making Star Wars games anymore. I don’t necessarily disagree. I also saw some fun takes from friends of mine saying, ‘It’d be so great if there were a Star Wars game jam where everybody could make a Star Wars game, and there were a bunch of really small, fun indie Star Wars games,’ because that’s something we really never get to see. That take had me really scratching my head and wondering what that would look like if that were even possible.


Jason: If it were accurate, it’d be a game jam except everyone would have to go through LucasArts’ approval processes. So it’d be a 24-hour game jam except you have to wait two months to get every character change approved.

Maddy: I still think even that’d be better because it’d result in a bunch of different permutations and ideas of ways to do things in the Star Wars universe. I was lecturing you today about how the cartoons are really good in Star Wars because they follow different kinds of characters—

Jason: If by lecturing you mean a one-line note in an article.

Maddy: Briefly noting at you that they’re important and should be noted in an article about any Star Wars property. But yeah I think there are a lot of cool Star Wars stories out there, and I’m just kinda sad that the games tend to be these huge sprawling epics. So in some ways hearing that the game is going to be a smaller-ish game is good news to me, but it’d be neat if it could be something totally different.


Jason: Agreed. I think it’s very early, they don’t even know what the direction’s gonna look like, for what it’s worth. Kirk, what do you make of all this Star Wars news?

Kirk: Not a huge reaction. A game got canceled, to me that’s not that wild. It does seem as though EA has had a hard time getting Star Wars games out.

Jason: Well, what’s wild is the context around Star Wars games. In the past six years, since EA has signed the deal with LucasArts, they’ve shipped two Star Wars games—Battlefront and Battlefront II—as well as a couple mobile games. That’s not what fans were hoping for when they heard that EA would get this exclusive console license to Star Wars.


Kirk: No, but at the same time, games get canceled, it happens. Maybe this was the right decision for them to make. It seems to me like they just haven’t been able to line up a dedicated studio that just makes Star Wars games the way that LucasArts did back in the day, which everybody looks at as this heyday of Star Wars video games where they weren’t all movie tie-ins and there were all these different kinds of games. There are a lot of creative people telling Star Wars stories, and some of them were really good—like Dark Forces has a great story. And so on. And it’d be cool to see that again. I don’t know how that happens because Maddy, like you said, all the games are these huge people-pleasers that you kind of have to be because Star Wars is so massive at this point.

Maddy: Yeah but does it have to be? I feel like even Star Wars has sort of stopped doing that — there are still the big people-pleaser movies but they’ve broken up the iceberg into these little other bits by having the cartoons for weirdos like me, and then the Han Solo movie which like two people liked and I wasn’t one of them, and all this other Star Wars in there… I think it’d be cool if the games went on that same property, like yeah you have a couple of tent pole games now and then, but make some little ones.

Kirk: I completely agree, and I’d love to see that, but it just seems like there haven’t been the tentpole games so they keep swinging for that. Because understandably, they want to make the game that makes a kajillion dollars—the Uncharted Star Wars game, or the Red Dead Redemption Star Wars game. The huge, unbelievable open-world triple-A billion dollar thing. It almost feels like they need to get that out of their system, and they need to make that. Because Battlefront has never been that, and everybody wanted that from the first Battlefront—oh, it doesn’t have a story campaign, I just want to play Dark Forces, Jedi Knight. Instead it’s a multiplayer shooter, and it’s fun, it makes money, but it’s not what people want.


And then the news that keeps coming out is, oh another thing that might have been what people want got canceled. So the expectations get built up, and it raises the stakes to the point where it’s probably really hard to meet the expectations and make the thing, so it perversely makes it more and more difficult to actually make the game everybody wants to play. Instead of doing that, it’d be cool of they changed focus—let’s make a bunch of whatever. A Telltale adventure game, lightsaber VR, a mobile game, a whole bunch of different things. I don’t know if I see that happening, unless Jason, your prediction comes true and Lucas and Disney are like OK no more EA, let’s let a bunch of people make games for us, which would be great.

For much more, listen to the entire episode. As always, you can subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts and Google Play to get every episode as it happens. Leave us a review if you like what you hear, and reach us at with any and all questions, requests, and suggestions.