Tag Archives: kotaku

Magic: The Gathering Pro Uses Victory To Spotlight Hong Kong, Is Not Banned

At this weekend’s Magic: The Gathering Mythic Championship, pro Lee Shi Tian used his moment in the spotlight to draw attention to the protests in his hometown of Hong Kong.

Tian entered the tournament stage wearing red scarf over his face, indicating his support for the pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong. (Protesters in Hong Kong wear masks to obscure their identity from government surveillance and stay safe from tear gas.) Tian was also covering one of his eyes like an eye patch—another symbol of the resistance.

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Running a highly aggressive red deck, Tian was one of the few top players in the tournament who swerved away from the dominant decks in the format: predominantly green and blue-based strategies dependent on ramping up to bigger creatures and effects. The popular deck type is so oppressive that some believe one of its key cards, Field of the Dead, will be banned today. Tian’s deck is only part of what made his win against Carlos Romao and entry into the Mythic Championship’s Top 8 so exciting:

In an emotional interview after his victory, Tian explained, “Life has been very tough in my hometown in Hong Kong.” Apparently overwhelmed with emotion, Tian added, “It feels so good to play as a free man!”

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On October 8, Hearthstone publisher Blizzard suspended Hearthstone pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai after he voiced his support for Hong Kong on stream. Citing a Hearthstone esports rule, Blizzard also pulled his prize money. The punishment, which many consider overly harsh, spurred a huge backlash against Blizzard and resulted in a significant movement to boycott the company and its games.

Days later, Blizzard reduced Chung’s suspension from one year to six months and returned his prize money, but the damage was done: Fans are furiously suspending their subscriptions to Blizzard games, protests are being planned ahead of Blizzcon, and senators like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ron Wyden penned a stern letter asking Blizzard to reverse their decision.

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One other result of Blizzard’s punishment was popular Hearthstone caster Brian Kibler announcing he would no longer be involved in the digital card game’s Grandmasters competition. He said, “The heavy-handedness of it feels like someone insisted that Blizzard make an example of Blitzchung, not only to discourage others from similar acts in the future but also to appease those upset by the outburst itself.” Kibler, who made a name for himself as a top Magic : The Gathering player, casted the weekend’s Magic: The Gathering Mythic Tournament.

One tweet following the tournament suggested that Twitch mods for the tournament did not remove mentions of Hong Kong from chat, and Kotaku has reached out to the original source for verification of this. After his loss to pro Gabriel Nassif, Tian wrote on Twitter, “Thanks everyone supported me, Hong Kong, freedom of speech and democracy I saw the Twitch chat and I heard it. It has been a tough period for me but it also motivated me to shine brighter.”

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Outta This World

The Outer Worlds comes out this week. For many fans, this is the true follow-up to Fallout New Vegas they’ve been waiting for. But it isn’t the only big and exciting game coming out this week. Get ready folks, it’s a busy week!

I have constantly mixed up The Outer Worlds and Outer Wilds when talking about these games with other writers at Kotaku. It doesn’t help that they are both games set in space and both are part of Xbox Game Pass. One day my brain will get this figured out, but for now, I have to double-check if I’m referencing the right game every time I write about it.

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As mentioned earlier, this is a busy week with games for everyone across all platforms. The Outer Worlds comes out this week, of course, but we also get some other big games. For wrestling fans, WWE 2K20 comes out this week. (Though that game sounds like a mess this year.) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare comes out this week too, with PS4 and Xbox One cross-play available right at launch. Wild! And for fans of remakes of old games, MediEvil comes out this week too for PS4.

And still, other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, October 21

  • Eastshade | PS4, Xbox One
  • Monaco: Complete Edition | Switch
  • The Forgettable Dungeon | PC
  • Mystery At Stonyford Bridge | PC
  • Mahjong Royal Towers | PC
  • ED-IT | PC
  • Return Of The Zombie King | PC
  • Zyxia: Neon Termination | PC

Tuesday, October 22

  • Street Outlaws: The List | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Beholder 2 | PS4
  • Mary Skelter 2 | Switch
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails Of Cold Steel III | PS4
  • WWE 2K20 | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Destiny Connect: Tick-Tock Travelers | PS4, Switch
  • Raging Loop | PS4, Switch
  • Skulllgirls 2nd Encore | Switch
  • Moons Of Madness | PC
  • Spin Rhythm XD | PC, Mac
  • Day And Night | Switch
  • Tangle Tower | Switch
  • The Park | Switch
  • PBA Pro Bowling | Switch
  • Knight Swap | PC, Mac
  • Flatland Vol.1 | PC
  • Outscape | PC

Wednesday, October 23

  • Corpse Party 2: Dead Patient | PC
  • Dredgers | PC
  • Norman’s Night In | PC
  • Dungeon Explorer | PC
  • House Of 1000 Doors: The Palm Of Zoroaster | PC

Thursday, October 24

  • Dark Devotion | PS4, Switch
  • Cat Quest II: The Lupus Empire | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Ghost Blade HD | Switch
  • Door Kickers: Action Squad | PS4
  • Lethis – Path Of Progress | Switch
  • Creepy Brawlers | Switch
  • OxLOGIC PUZZLE 1000! | Switch
  • Haunted Halloween 95 | Switch
  • Dark Veer | Switch
  • Anthill | Switch
  • Winter Sports Games | Switch
  • Vortex Attack EX | Switch
  • Rise Of The Slime | PC
  • Potion Paws | PC, Mac
  • Alpha | PC

Friday, October 25

  • Pixel Gladiator | Xbox One, Switch
  • Into The Dead 2 | Switch
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • The Outer Worlds | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • MediEvil | PS4
  • Soul Searching | Switch
  • Pizza Bar Tycoon | Switch
  • Ultra Off-Road 2019: Alaska | Switch
  • Let’s Sing Country | Switch
  • It Will Find You | PC
  • Space Road | PC
  • Survival Vacancy | PC, Mac
  • Coloring Game: Pixel | PC

Saturday, October 26

  • Daylife In Japan – Pixel Art Jigsaw Puzzle | PC

Sunday, October 27

  • Space Space | PC
  • Il Sole e la Luna 2 | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

Uniqlo Commercial Pulled In South Korea Due To Subtitle Translation

In a recent Uniqlo commercial, 98-year-old fashion model Iris Apfel talks with 13-year-old fashion designer Kheris Rogers. The commercial is in English, and the Korean-language subtitles have caused the Japanese clothing company to pull the ad. Viewers are accusing the subtitled commercial of forgetting the horrors of Japan’s forced occupation.

Apfel speaks English in the ad and is asked how she used to dress when she was the 13-year-old’s age. She replies, “Oh my god, I can’t remember that far back.”

In the Japanese version of the ad, the line is translated into Japanese as “As for things in the past, I forgot em.”

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However, in the Korean version, the line is translated as her saying, “How can I remember when it was over 80 years ago?” Obviously, the original English differs.

This translation has caused controversy because in South Korea there are claims this is a reference to Japan’s imperial rule of South Korea and all that happened during that period (more here), such as forced labor and sexual slavery. The subtitle controversy has made its way to mainstream Korean news.

The implication is that old people cannot really remember what happened, which would be a pointed condemnation of the surviving comfort women, who are now in their 90s.

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In 2015, the Japanese and South Korean government reached an agreement on the comfort women, establishing a $9 million fund to assist them. But former comfort women, like Kim Bok-dong who died earlier this year, want a formal apology from the Japanese government.

Against this backdrop, tensions between Japan and South Korea are currently running high with the South Korean Supreme Court ruling that Japanese companies need to pay for forced wartime factory and mining labor, Japan no longer considering South Korea a trusted trading partner, and Seoul abandoning intelligence sharing with Tokyo. Korean tourism is down in Japan, and in South Korea, there are boycotts on Japanese goods, hurting companies like Uniqlo. The two neighboring countries are not getting along.

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At the center of contention is the 1965 Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea. The Japanese point of view is that the treaty states issues of compensation were settled “completely and finally” through Japan’s massive injection of economic aid, which included settlement money, into South Korea. As Lawfare points out, the South Korean government did not pay that money out as compensation to its citizens and instead used it to build up its infrastructure.

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However, the Korean view is that the Japanese occupation was unlawful and thus, the South Korean Supreme Court’s ruling is correct. Moreover, the ruling argued that Japan never agreed that colonialism was unjust and therefore the money could never have been intended for victims. You can read more on Lawfare about the ongoing legal wrangling between the two countries.

Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo’s founder and CEO, has been critical of how the Japanese government has been recently acting toward South Korea, saying it has been “odd” and “hysterical” and that he understands why South Koreans have started boycotting Japanese products.

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Uniqlo Korea has pulled the ad but believes this is a misunderstanding. “We can’t really comprehend why it’s controversial, but there might be a misunderstanding,” said Uniqlo Korea, according to SCMP. “We think [the Korean people] have overly interpreted it in that way.”

“The ad was not designed for a specific country. It’s a global advertisement,” Uniqlo Korea added. “The models are real designers 98-year-old Iris Apfel and 13-year-old Kheris Rogers. The subtitles are to highlight their age difference. There are no national or historic connotations.”

Source: Kotaku.com

If You Visit Kyoto In October, Check Out This Spooky Parade

Kotaku EastEast is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

While Halloween in Shibuya might get lots of attention because of the massive crowds (and chaos), Kyoto has an annual yokai parade that sure looks like spooky fun.

The parade, which was held this year on October 19, is called Ichijo Hyakki Yakou (Ichijo’s Night Parade of the Hundred Yokai). The street Ichijodori, one of the biggest in Kyoto, was said to separate the real world from the spirit one.

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Tales of yokai night parades date back over a thousand years. During the Heian Era (794-1185), samurai carried charms to avoid crossing paths with the yokai.

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There are various legends about Hyakki Yakou and there are other yokai parades held in Japan. However, in Kyoto, the story goes that unwanted household items were dumped in the vicinity. These household items got angry, and a deity turned them into yokai to seek their vengeance. The yokai then marched down the street, and the event is recreated in this annual parade in the Ichijodori’s Taishogun shopping section, which is now known as Yokai Street.

While the story of Hyakki Yakou dates back to at least the 9th century, the current parade has been revitalized since 2005.

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Throughout the year, the street is decorated with yokai.

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This certainly seems more enjoyable than the Halloween chaos in Shibuya!

Source: Kotaku.com

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

A Lot Of Work Went Into Creating Over 5000 Gun Sounds For Borderlands 3

The Borderlands series has always been known for having billions of guns, with each gun randomly generated. But all of these weapons also make noises when they shoot, like the loud crack of sniper or the blast of a rocket launcher. And as explained by the senior sound designer at Gearbox, Joshua Davidson, it took a lot of work to create over 5000 gun sounds for Borderlands 3.

In the older games, like Borderlands 2, Gearbox was limited by how much memory the consoles had. These limits forced the developer to limit how many gun noises could be shipped with the game. In Borderlands 2, Joshua Davidson estimates there were only about 350 individual weapon sounds. So when you picked up a Jakobs pistol, it didn’t matter if it was long, short, big, or small it would sound basically the same as any other Jakobs pistol.

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In Borderlands 3, thanks to more powerful consoles, the team was able to implement many more sounds, with Davidson estimating over 5,500 individual sounds were created and shipped with the game.

The system for creating unique and different gun sounds for each randomly generated weapon in Borderlands 3 is very similar to how guns themselves are put together. As explained by Davidson in a video on his personal YouTube channel, each gun in Borderlands is made up of various parts. These parts can be combined into millions and millions of different weapons. To create the sound system, Davidson and the sound team “piggybacked” on the weapon part system. They linked different sounds to different parts. So if a sniper rifle had a long, plasma barrel on it, then it would sound different than a sniper with a short, laser barrel.

The end result of all this work and over 5000 sound files is that each weapon you pick up in Borderlands 3 will often sound different than a similar weapon you might already have. This helps make each weapon feel unique and interesting.

The full video is filled with a lot of behind the scenes information about creating sounds for a big video game like Borderlands 3. It might be a bit too technical for most folks, myself included. But it is still amazing to get a peek behind the curtain of how massive and complicated video games are made.

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Davidson also has some other videos on his channel showcasing how other parts of Borderlands 3 and its sound design were created.

Source: Kotaku.com

HONK! Someone Modded The Goose Into Resident Evil 2

The goose, star of the mega-popular Untitled Goose Game, is now ready to honk and annoy the stars of Resident Evil 2. Thanks to talented modder Alister, the goose is on the loose in Raccoon City. God help us all.

The mod is not yet finished, but the final version will include honks. Also, you might have noticed that the goose is wearing Mr. X’s famous fedora. According to the modder, this won’t be changed when the mod is finished.

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“He’s keeping the Fedora because he is just so Fancy like that,” said Alister. I agree. Besides who is going to actually try to take that hat from that giant goose? Not me, that’s for sure.

The goose is not the first strange new character to be added into Resident Evil 2 via modding. Others have included Big Smoke from San Andreas and Thomas The Tank Engine. Poor Claire and Leon. They never know what to expect anymore.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Mom Rates All The Characters In Fire Emblem: Three Houses Based On Their Looks

I don’t know much about the Fire Emblem series, but that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying a Twitter thread that has recently gone viral. Created by Twitter user eiouna, the thread is all about their mom and what she thinks of all the men featured in the most recent Fire Emblem game, Three Houses. The thread is a wonderful journey.

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As with many of the best Twitter threads, it starts out with a simple but interesting setup. Eiouna is going to ask their mother to rate the men in the game based solely on their looks.

The mother’s opinions on the various characters are hilarious and possibly accurate? I have no idea, I don’t know these characters. But they just feel right, you know?

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But the best part of the thread is when the mother starts to include more personal elements from eiouna’s life.

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We’ve all been there. Your parent is supposed to be talking about something else but somehow finds a way to include some embarrassing moment or conversation from YOUR life into the story.

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But like most moms, she cares greatly about her child. This reminds me of when I talk to my mom and she hears me cough and askes if I’m sick. Every time.

Oh and eventually, once they were done rating all the men, her mom started rating all the women in the game too!

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The whole thread is great and worth reading, especially if you know who all these characters are and what they are really like. Let me and other non-FE players know in the comments below if this mother’s ratings are accurate. I’m very curious to know!

Source: Kotaku.com

Report: Venom 2 Is Diving Deep Into Symbiote Lore and Casting Naomie Harris as Shriek

Naomie Harris.
Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Remember Shriek? You might not; the character, debuting in Marvel Comics in 1993, was created to be a love interest for Cletus Kassidy, aka Carnage. She’s a mutant with sound-manipulation abilities and a deep love for both killing and Carnage. And now we know who might be playing her in the Venom sequel.

According to an exclusive report from Variety, the villainess will be making her film debut in Venom 2, with actress Naomie Harris (Moonlight) in talks to play her. If she appears, she’ll be showing up alongside Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, playing Venom and Carnage respectively, with Andy Serkis directing.

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My curiosity here is how they’re going to adapt Shriek. As she stands, she’s perfect ‘90s excess, a jumble of powers and skimpy clothes brought together just so Carnage has someone to murder a whole bunch of people alongside. Are they going to make her a symbiote character, perhaps drawing from the myriad of symbiote-adjacent lore out in the nether regions of canon? Or are they just going to go with Black Canary, but evil? Both sound campy and bad, and thus I’m into it.

Venom 2 has no official release date, though many speculate it’ll be next year.


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Source: Kotaku.com

Ranking Every Plant In Plants Vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville Based On Tastiness

Plants Vs Zombies: Battle For Neighborville is filled with zombies and plants, as the name suggests. They fight each other for control of the world. Plants wanting to protect humans and zombies wanting to eat humans and their brains. Speaking of eating…

I appreciate everything the plants have done for us humans, protecting us from deadly zombies and various zombie built machines. Very thankful. But I’m also a human and I need to eat and many of these plants are edible. So I decided to rank each plant featured in Battle For Neighborville according to how tasty they are and if they are even edible at all.

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I’m not raking the zombies because they aren’t edible. I mean, I wouldn’t eat a zombie. Would you? (I hope not.)

10 – Oak & Acorn

According to some quick research, acorns are not safe to eat raw. However, you can eat them if you prepare them properly. But I’ve never eaten an acorn. Maybe they taste great? There is one guy who is trying to make acorns popular and someone else has created acorn crackers. They don’t look very tasty.

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The real reason Oak & Acorn are at number 10 on this list is because of the big oak tree. Players can switch between either during gameplay. Oak looks cool and is use useful in combat, but I wouldn’t eat him. I doubt bark tastes very good. You could burn him and cook something on the flame, but beyond that, I don’t think the oak tree belongs in cooking.

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9 – Chomper

Chomper is a fast-moving plant that can burrow underground and attack zombies from below like a shark. Chompers seems inspired by a Venus Fly Trap. So can you eat a Venus Fly Trap? Probably. Should you? No. You shouldn’t. For one thing, they are endangered and might go extinct in the future. For another thing, according to someone on Quora, if you eat one it will grow inside you. Is that person just joking? Maybe…but do you want to risk it?

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8 – Snapdragons

Snapdragons are a real plant, though they don’t have dragon heads attached to them like in the game. They also don’t breathe fire. Honestly, it seems like PVZ developers PopCap needs to do more research. As for edibility, Snapdragons are edible flowers. But according to the internet, they aren’t very tasty compared to other edible flowers. But they also won’t poison you, so that’s a point in its favor.

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7 – Rose

I had to ask for some help making this list. As has been documented on this very site, I’m not the healthiest eater in the world. So I consulted my girlfriend and her experience eating stuff like roses! I didn’t know people eat roses, but she has had roses in tea and liked the taste. I like tea, maybe I’ll add some rosebuds to it next time.

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6 – Sunflower

In PVZ:BFN, Sunflowers are healers that provide plants with bits of the sun to help them stay alive during combat. Sunflower seeds are tasty and definitely edible, but I was surprised to learn that sunflowers are completely edible. Not just the seeds. Every part of a sunflower can be eaten and according to the internet, they taste nice as well.

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5 – Cactus

The cactus is one of my favorite plants to play as in PVZ:BFN. They are a fast-moving sniper with a very useful onion drone. (This is a weird game.) But in real life, I didn’t love the taste of cactus. But I didn’t hate it either. Furthermore, cactus seems really healthy and can potentially lower your cholesterol. Thanks, cactus! Not only are you a powerful sniper who protects humans, but when you die and get eaten by those humans, you help them fight cholesterol. What a hero!

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4 – Night Cap

Night Cap might be one of the coolest plants in the new PVZ game. I never expected a mushroom to translate so perfectly into a fast-moving and stealthy ninja, but there you go. Loads of people eat mushrooms and depending on how they are cooked, I can enjoy some mushrooms too. However, I have no idea what kind of mushroom Night Cap is and so they might not be safe to eat. Considering in the game Night Cap can throw mysterious bubbles made out strange spores, I might skip eating it.

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3 – Peashooter

Peas are totally fine. Maybe this is controversial to say, but I don’t think peas are great. I’ll eat them, sure, but I’m not excited about peas. In a soup or part of a big meal, I’ll chow down on some peas. But alone, I’ll probably pass on peas. The Peashooter itself is technically edible, but according to my research would probably be too tough and stringy to enjoy.

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2 – Citron

I grew up in Florida and developed a taste for Oranges back when I was very young. Orange juice is wonderful and one of my favorite drinks to have in the morning. So it should come as no surprise that Citron, a giant orange, makes it so high up on my list of edible PVZ plants. Oranges are super tasty and also can provide extra flavor to different deserts and meals. None of my oranges ever shoot lasers, but maybe I’m just not buying the right oranges.

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1 – Kernel Corn

Corn is good. Not a controversial opinion, I know. But corn is easily my favorite food on this list. It can be popped, creamed, cooked on a cob, frozen, made into bread or puffed. Plus Kernel Corn in the game is a great attacker who I use a lot. And let’s be honest, that name is great and worth some bonus points.

Source: Kotaku.com