Tag Archives: kotaku core

Fallout Speedrunner ‘Tomatoanus’ Changes Name For Upcoming Event

Tomatoanus, one of the best Fallout speedrunners on the planet, will be playing at January’s Awesome Games Done Quick under a different name after reaching an agreement with organizers.

He’s actually already played at six Games Done Quick events in the past under the name Tomatoanus, but several of those had not displayed his runs publicly because it was thought that, hey, at an all-ages event for charity, maybe having a name with “anus” in it wasn’t a great look.

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So organizers reached out behind the scenes to let Tomatoanus know the reasons his runs hadn’t been appearing, and as he explains in this statement on the change, has decided to appear under the name “Tomatoangus” as a compromise.

Still a very good name.

This isn’t a permanent name change—YouTube and Twitch don’t care—it’s just for appearances at GDQ.

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If you’ve never seen one of Tomatoanus’ runs before, here’s his world record dash through the Fallout Anthology (Fallout 1, 2, 3, New Vegas, and 4), which he completed in just under 1.5 hours:

Source: Kotaku.com

Rejoice, For Crusader Kings III Cometh

Crusader Kings II, one of the greatest strategy (and family murder plot) games of all time is finally getting a sequel, publishers Paradox announced today.

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I’ve gone on at length on this website about how special CKII is, but the fact is, despite getting a ton of important expansions as recently as earlier this year, the base game itself is over seven years old, and for all its depth and intrigue has started to look like ass.

Crusader Kings III, then, is obviously trying to keep everything that made CKII special, while at the same time making the whole experience not just prettier, but easier to use as well. Graphical improvements are obvious in these screenshots, with nice touches like including individual character designs in their own story development screens (above), but more importantly you’ll also notice that the menu system—taking cues from Imperator—has been pared right back, with a lot of the stuff previously out there, in your face and terrifying to new players now tucked away, to be accessed only when needed.

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Most interesting, though, and I’m sure of most relief to curious onlookers previously put off by CKII’s density, is the promise of a new intro framed as “Guided advice to help newcomers navigate a rich medieval world. In-game suggestions tip you off to paths you might not have considered.”

Crusader Kings III is coming next year to Steam and Xbox Game Pass.

Source: Kotaku.com

If You Believe In The Madden Curse, It Just Dislocated Patrick Mahomes’ Knee

Photo: Justin Edmonds (Getty)

I have written at length—albeit a long time ago—on this website about how there is no such thing as the Madden curse. If you ever want to put together a counter-argument, though, today is your day to do it.

Patrick Mahomes, the brightest young star in the NFL, reigning MVP and cover star of Madden 20, just suffered what NFL.com calls a “gruesome knee injury”, and was instantly ruled out for the rest of the game.

The NFL Network’s James Palmer reports that Mahomes suffered a “patella (kneecap) dislocation” (you can see doctors pop it back in in the video above), and will have an MRI tomorrow to determine if he has also suffered any ligament damage. Even if he hasn’t, Mahomes could still be out for up to six weeks just recovering from the dislocation.

This sucks, because despite the rest of the sport’s issues, Mahomes is an exhilarating talent, and the NFL is worse for having him on the sidelines for what could be an extended period of time.

That’s this year’s cover in the trash, but let’s not forget that Madden 19’s cover star was Antonio Brown, who so far in 2019 has been released from one team, cut from another, accused of rape and caught sending threatening text messages to someone else who had accused him of sexual assault.

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This may provide ammunition for Madden curse believers, but I put it to you that football is the problem here, not a video game.

Source: Kotaku.com

Borderlands 3 Patch Nerfs Its Best Legendary Weapons

Gearbox continued its trend of weekly Borderlands 3 hotfixes with a whopper this afternoon, weakening some of the game’s best legendary guns and grenades in the process. The severity of these nerfs differs from item to item. In a few cases, it isn’t the end of the world, but a portion of the community is struggling to understand why the developers would so drastically alter some of the borderline overpowered weaponry.

While I was perusing the Borderlands 3 patch notes this morning, I was devastated to see my two favorite guns—the triple-barrel Lyuda sniper and the rapid-fire Butcher shotgun—had been hit with significant nerfs. As it turns out, the Lyuda was actually firing four bullets at a time when it should have only been firing three, so that bug has been removed and the critical hit damage bonus decreased, whereas the Butcher has had its accuracy and damage lowered.

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“Well,” I thought to myself, “there go my main farming weapons!” Fortunately, I was wrong.

After taking the latest Borderlands 3 hotfix for a spin, I can safely say my guns are still super strong. I’m still able to defeat my favorite boss, Graveward, with ease, and none of the areas I traveled through provided much of a challenge, even with negative Mayhem mode bonuses boosting enemy defenses. That’s not to say that it isn’t obvious they’ve been nerfed, because it is, but the differences are minimal. Battles end in two or three blinks of an eye rather than one, which I can live with.

Other players weren’t so lucky. The Flakker, a shotgun capable of producing huge explosions and melting anything that stands in its way, saw a massive reduction in effectiveness. Every shot now fully depletes the gun’s magazine, meaning users will need to spend a lot more time reloading. Its damage was also reduced by one-third.

“Flakker was greatly outperforming other shotguns due to the number of projectiles and the high rate of fire,” the developers explained in their official patch notes. “This change encourages players to capitalize on different stat bonuses to maximize the weapon’s damage output.”

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Another change with which Borderlands 3 players are grappling has to do with the Hex grenade mods. These legendary explosives seek out enemies and generate elemental area of effect damage that, when stacked, is capable of depleting health bars in an instant. Most characters use this kind of equipment like a cherry on top of a sundae, but certain playstyles, like Moze’s infinite grenade build, rely on Hex grenades to generate damage. Today’s hotfix reduced that damage by 70 percent and reduced the amount of time a Hex is active to just three seconds.

That said, several items received improvements, which might mean more diversity in the kinds of builds and loadouts Borderlands 3 players use. It’s just going to take time for folks to experiment and see how everything shakes out. There are also quite a few inarguably good changes, including health increases for Moze’s Iron Bear mech, FL4K’s pets, and Zane’s digi-clone, which should make them all a little more useful in the end game. I’m also really happy to see shield boosters—health items that drop from certain shields when you take damage—are now picked up automatically, reducing the amount of scrambling I have to do during particularly chaotic battles when my shield gets low.

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Even if players don’t always agree with it, it’s clear that Gearbox has a very specific vision for how it wants weapons to compare and contrast with one another in Borderlands 3. It’s strange and sometimes a little frustrating to see a developer to put so much time into balancing a game without any sort of competition involved, but the amount of attention it’s already paying to Borderlands 3 bodes well for its future.

Source: Kotaku.com

Modded Witcher 3 On Switch Allows PC Graphics Settings, 60FPS

The version of The Witcher 3 that exists on the Nintendo Switch works, which is a miracle in itself, but it’s far from the ideal version of the game. Those with a modded Switch console, though, can play something that looks a lot nicer.

The game by default runs at 720P and 30FPS while docked, and that’s as good as it gets. Modders have however found that the Switch version is just a port of the PC edition running at very low settings, and that by sliding in a patch file they could unlock the PC version’s graphics options.

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By overclocking the system and then disabling the game’s dynamic resolution, along with increasing other settings like the foliage density and post-processing effects, you get a version of The Witcher 3 that looks a lot better, and sometimes even gets to 60FPS.

It’s also cooking a Switch alive from the inside.

Here’s some footage of a modded copy of the game in action, to give you an idea of the improvements (it gets better, but don’t expect it to magically start looking like the PC version):

Source: Kotaku.com

GTA Golfer Fights Physics And Loses

Today on Highlight Reel we have bad luck in GTA, tons of Red Dead physics, Destiny 2 payback, Naruto running and much more!

Watch the video then talk about your favorite highlight in the comments below. Be sure to check out, like, and share the original videos via the links below. Subscribe to Kotaku on YouTube for more! Catch up on all the episodes on the Highlight Reel Youtube playlist!

Highlight Reel is Kotaku’s regular roundup of great plays, stunts, records and other great moments from around the gaming world. If you record an amazing feat while playing a game (here’s how to record a clip), send it to us with a message confirming that the clip is yours at highlightreel@kotaku.com. Or, if you see a great clip around that isn’t yours, encourage that person to send it in!

Source: Kotaku.com

Sea Salt Lets You Control Unruly Hordes Of Eldritch Beasts

Much of the horror in the works of H.P. Lovecraft comes from the fear of the unknown. Sea Salt, released today on PC, PlayStation 4, and Switch, flips that script by putting the player in control of a monstrous horde that terrifies seaside communities full of humans who, rather than being afraid, are ready to defend themselves. It’s a tough game, but controlling a marauding horde rather than a single person makes for a unique horror experience.

Sea Salt begins with a simple premise: Dagon, an ocean-dwelling deity that first appeared in Lovecraft’s short story of the same name, demands a list of specific human sacrifices from his most faithful human servant, a self-styled bishop of Dagon worship. But when it comes time for the bishop himself to take the plunge, he refuses, forcing Dagon to send multitudes of minions to raid the shoreline for sacrifices instead. The player does this by wielding Dagon’s influence through an on-screen cursor, directing monsters’ movement and giving them basic, one-button commands to attack and regroup.

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Sea Salt starts by giving players one apostle—a sort of class or character archetype that begins each level with different monsters and attributes—and one creature, but your roster expands quickly as levels are cleared and challenges are completed. Although I spent most of my time with the starting apostle, I soon had a ton of different choices in how to build my horde. Each monster has its own stats and abilities, making them useful in different situations. The swarm, for instance, will generally form the basis of Dagon’s army due to the large numbers in which you receive them. Cultists are long-range specialists that can provide cover for the rest of the horde. Crabs are resistant to fire and shotgun blasts.

Just as horror has been used to drive many a doomed Lovecraft protagonist mad, so too does it play a role in Sea Salt. In addition to stats like health and speed, each creature is also rated on how well they horrify the humans they encounter, which in turn makes the enemies more vulnerable to attack as they run away screaming. Since the humans soon begin to arm themselves with pitchforks and Molotov cocktails, horrifying them is necessary. Building your horde with only speed or damage in mind is a recipe for disaster in later levels.

Sea Salt can get a little unwieldy as your horde grows. Players are only able to give the monsters general commands like attack or regroup. Without the ability to directly control them, I’ve had cultists decide to launch fireballs at inanimate objects rather than the shotgun-wielding humans right in front of them and swarms get caught on the corners of buildings as they struggle to navigate where I direct them. Early boss battles—which include a bomb-throwing admiral, an anchor-swinging longshoreman, and a group of torch-wielding villagers intent on protecting a local monastery—were a chore, as even when I figured out the basic patterns, it felt impossible to direct my monsters in such a way that they could escape unscathed. I also experienced lengthy periods of slowdown as my horde grew to massive proportions and on-screen elements like fire were introduced, although it’s possible this problem is unique to the Switch version.

Sea Salt is unforgiving: While I can deal with a little bit of punishment, the more hectic battles often feel like a crapshoot, with victory decided more by luck than any sound strategy or tactics, especially when the game’s performance begins to stumble. That said, there’s something strangely satisfying about rampaging through the game’s levels with an army of fishmen and giant crabs. Just don’t expect to have a firm grasp on them as they do their dark lord’s bidding.

Source: Kotaku.com

What Is Fortnite And Who Is Ninja, Wonders Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is one of the most accomplished musicians of all time. Ninja plays video games for millions of people online. If this isn’t the biggest crossover in the history of pop culture, I don’t know what is.

I write about video games for a living and barely know what the heck Fortnite is all about, so it came as no surprise when Lady Gaga—between private flights to concerts in exotic locations, no doubt—asked her Twitter followers for the details on this “fortnight” she’s been hearing so much about yesterday morning. As is often the case, the internet exploded, with IGN, Twitch, and even Smash pro Ezra “Samsora” Morris fighting for the “Bad Romance” singer’s attention. Lady Gaga’s original tweet has since amassed over 204,000 retweets and almost 870,000 likes.

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Never one to shy away from the spotlight, streaming superstar Tyler “Ninja” Blevins stepped up to the plate, offering to guide Lady Gaga through the wide world of video games with a couple choice references to her music: “Call me on the Telephone. I’ll give you a Million Reasons to play. You and I.”

Ninja, who recently made a big show out of moving from Twitch to rival streaming platform Mixer, is famously against playing games with women out of respect for his wife, whatever that means. Lady Gaga, as some have correctly pointed out, is a woman. Maybe famous women, like Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres before her, don’t count because they might help his bottom line?

In any case, Lady Gaga didn’t seem too impressed. She responded to Ninja directly with a follow-up tweet this afternoon, posing another simple question: “who are you.” No capitalization, no punctuation. Ninja, displaying big “not mad” energy, name-dropped Drake, another famous—but not quite as famous as Gaga, mind—musician who appeared on his stream last year. Since then, both sides have gone quiet, likely because they have more important things to do than stare at a Twitter feed all day like me.

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What does this mean? Does it mean anything? I don’t know, man. The world is ending. Find some joy wherever you can.

Kotaku contacted representatives for both Lady Gaga and Ninja but neither responded before publishing.

Source: Kotaku.com

I Wish I Could Just Buy My Favorite Apple Arcade Game

Grindstone is probably the best mobile game I’ve ever played. I’ve spent much of my downtime over the last few days fighting through its monster-slaying puzzles. There’s just one thing: I would prefer to simply buy it rather than playing it through my Apple Arcade subscription.

Apple Arcade is a fairly new subscription service that charges users $5 a month for access to an avalanche of excellent mobile games. I decided to dive into its offerings after a recent update made the service accessible on my iPhone. The first trial month is free, and during that time, I’ve been going down the list of Stephen and Mike’s favorite games to try and decide whether my subscription is worth keeping. Some of the games that others have loved, like Card of Darkness and Mini Motorways, were frustrating to me (maybe I’m just not very smart), but I immediately fell in love with Grindstone.

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Developed by Sword & Sworcery and Below creators Capy Games, Grindstone puts you in the shoes of a hulking barbarian who is tasked with traveling up a mountain and slaying hordes of cute but deadly monsters. You rack up combos by defeating as many of the color-coded enemies as possible with a single, unbroken line. Deducing clever ways to string together hits and gathering resources has proven to be mighty compelling to my lizard brain. The only problem is that the end of my free month of Apple Arcade is still looming overhead, and this is the only game I want to keep playing. It’s made me realize that I’d rather just purchase the game from the developers outright instead of chaining myself to a service that removes all sense of ownership from the equation.

Digital media is inherently tricky. While you technically own the movies, albums, and video games that you purchase, they’re still susceptible to the whims of copyright protection methods. Oftentimes, this means that the pieces of media you “own” are still intrinsically tied to whichever digital storefront or proprietary media player that you used to make your purchase. Subscription services like Apple Arcade only exacerbate this problem because they become the only place to watch, listen to, or play this digital media. My hard copy of the Kevin Smith movie Dogma, for instance, is precious to me because you can’t watch it online anywhere—at least, not legally. Lions Gate Films’ unfathomable decision to not make it available on streaming services doesn’t affect my VHS copy. It’s easy to understand why this might not sit well with the major corporations of the world: they’re no longer making any money from it while it’s sitting on my shelf.

There’s also the issue of devaluation, which was brought up by Maddy and Kirk on an episode of Kotaku Splitscreen last month. When hundreds of games are accessible for just $5 a month, why would anyone drop that much money on a single mobile game again? Hell, why pay $20? Or, god forbid, even $60? And unlike movies on Netflix or music on Spotify, there sometimes isn’t an option to purchase Apple Arcade games elsewhere. My worry is that this system won’t be sustainable for anyone but Apple, and developers will get fleeced by contracts and stipulations when they could have had an actual hit on their hands if they had decided to release their games traditionally and hadn’t tied it to a third-party subscription service. These are complicated, time- and labor-intensive projects, and the people who work on them deserve to be compensated fairly.

I want game developers to be fairly compensated, of course, but I admit, I don’t want to pay $5 a month for a ton of games that I’m not actually playing either. Grindstone is fantastic, so much so that it might even be worth renewing my Apple Arcade subscription for another month, but I don’t know where my $5 is going, exactly, and I’m not really interested in anything else the platform’s library has to offer. What I really want is to feel, no matter how fake the feeling might be in this new digital age, like I own the game on which I’m being asked to spend money, not to mention that the developers are getting their fair share for their labor. I’m willing to fork over at least $20 for this game, Capy. Just let me know where to send the check.

Source: Kotaku.com

Blizzard Gives 6-Month Ban To College Team That Held Up ‘Free Hong Kong’ Sign

American University Hearthstone players who recently held up a sign calling for Hong Kong’s freedom during a livestream have been officially disciplined by Activision-Blizzard. In a Twitter post today, team member Casey Chambers stated that the team has been banned from competitive play for six months.

The situation started last week when pro player Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai spoke in support of Hong Kong citizens currently embroiled in months-long protest with the government. During a livestream of the Hearthstone Asia-Pacific Grandmasters, Blitzchung called for a liberated Hong Kong and a “revolution of our age.” As a result, he was initially banned from competitive play for 12 months and had his prize money revoked. The decision sparked immediate outcry against Blizzard, including demonstrations from workers on Blizzard’s campus in Irvine, California. Blitzchung’s suspension has since been reduced to six months and his prize money returned.

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Later that week, American University’s three-player Hearthstone demonstrated in their own way, by holding up a sign that said “FREE HONG KONG, BOYCOTT BLIZZ” during a match. When a punishment from Blizzard to similar to Blitzchung’s was not forthcoming, the team voluntarily dropped out of future tournaments. Now, they’ve been officially banned for half a year.

Chambers posted an image of an email from Blizzard on their Twitter today. It reads:

“Every Voice Matters at Blizzard and we strongly encourage everyone in our community to share their viewpoints in the many places available to express themselves. However, the official broadcast needs to be about the game and competition, and to be a place where all are welcome.”

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The email goes on to state that Chambers violated a rule regarding sportsmanship and that he is banned from competition for six months from the incident.

“Happy to announce the AU Hearthstone team received a six month ban from competition,” Chambers tweeted. “While delayed I appreciate all players being treated equally and no one being above the rules.”

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In the time since Blitzchung’s ban, pressure has mounted against Blizzard from fans disappointed with a slow response to the incident. Eventually, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack released a statement insisting that the content of Blitzchung’s message played no factor in disciplinary decisions, and that it was a result of breaking a general rule that states the company can punish players for “engaging in any act that, in Blizzard’s sole discretion, brings you into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages Blizzard image.”

Kotaku has reached out to Blizzard for comment..

Source: Kotaku.com