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Games of a Lifetime: Alexander's picks
After more than ten years devoted to video games and the people who make them, Joystiq is closing its doors. We won't be reporting on the best games of 2015, so join us for one last hurrah as the Joystiq family reveals their Games of a Lifetime.

Hunt the Wumpus
One of my earliest game experiences was playing Hunt the Wumpus on the TI-99/4A. I can't recall if we had this early home computer because my mother had gone back to school for a degree in computer science, or because my aunt worked at Texas Instruments. Anyway, I played a lot of Hunt the Wumpus, which was like Minesweeper meets Evolve. You're tasked with moving a hunter through various interconnected circles, where red dots indicated the Wumpus was two spots away, but there were also bats that could move you to another location and insta-death pits that were telegraphed like the Wumpus, only with green dots. It was one of the earliest games I can remember playing consistently, teaching me before I was in kindergarten on how thoughtful game design can convey a wealth of information.

2D fighter Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax will reach the West
Following its Japanese debut last November, Sega has announced plans to publish Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax on the PlayStation 3 and Vita handheld in Western territories later this year.

As the title suggests, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax is a dream match of sorts that pits characters from the Dengeki Bunko line of Japanese light novels against one another in fairly traditional (if visually spectacular) 2D combat. Because Sega's publishing the game, Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax also features some notable characters from the company's extensive history in games, including Selvaria Bles from Valkyria Chronicles and Virtua Fighter icon Akira.

No specific launch date has yet been nailed down for Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, but Sega plans to release the game to both retail and the PlayStation Network at some point this Summer.
[Image: Sega]


Square Enix triple packs March to the US
The Ultimate Action Triple Pack and Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack from Square Enix will launch for Xbox 360 and PS3 in North America on March 31, a spokesperson confirmed to Joystiq today. The Ultimate Action Triple Pack includes Tomb Raider, Sleeping Dogs and Just Cause 2; the Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack features Thief, Hitman: Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

North American Amazon listings for both packs hit the 'net earlier this week, with a price tag of $30 each. The Ultimate Action and Ultimate Stealth packs launched in Europe last year.
[Image: Square Enix]


Find a way to watch Life is Strange's launch trailer

In Life is Strange you don't need a Cher button to turn back time. The $5 first episode of the teen drama is available now on Steam, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and it's on the way to PS4 and PS3 later today. For more on Dontnod's new joint, make some time for our preview.
[Image: Square Enix]


Watch Marshawn Lynch play Mortal Kombat X, say more than 7 words

Yes, this Conan O'Brien "Clueless Gamer" bit features Mortal Kombat X (which, by the by, Ermac was just confirmed for). More importantly, we now know that sportsballer-of-few-words Marshawn Lynch likes to play Toad in Mario Kart, while Rob Gronkowski is all about the Bowser. For several reasons that shouldn't need elaboration, this video is possibly NSFW.
[Image: WB]


Battlefield Hardline beta test arrives February 3
Hoping to both stress test its servers and drum up an extra bit of pre-release hype, publisher EA has announced plans for a five-day beta test of its imminent cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline scheduled to begin on February 3.

"There's nothing more valuable to our team than the relationship we have with our community. Their passion feeds our passion and their feedback has definitely helped make Hardline a better game," said Battlefield Hardline executive producer Steve Papoutsis. "We want them to play the hell out of the beta next week and trust that they'll keep that feedback coming so we can continue to fine tune the game."

The beta test will be available on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and on PC via the Origin digital distribution platform. No purchase is necessary to join the beta, but the file is likely to be a big download, so hopefully you have bandwidth to spare.
[Image: EA]


Transistor, Yakuza 4 heading to PlayStation Plus next month

Sony has revealed next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Transistor, Yakuza 4, and more starting next week.

Featured PlayStation 4 freebies for next month include Supergiant Games' Bastion follow-up Transistor and Alien Trap Games' side-scrolling action game Apotheon, while PlayStation 3 owners can expect to see Sega's open-world crime drama Yakuza 4 and Eidos Montreal's first-person stealth game Thief. The PlayStation Vita will host Jaywalkers Interactive's Kick & Fennick, and Cellar Door Games' roguelike platformer Rogue Legacy will be freely downloadable across the PlayStation 4, PS3, and Vita.

All featured games will be available as free downloads for PlayStation Plus subscribers after the PlayStation Store updates on February 3.

[Image: Sony]

Source: PlayStation Blog



Watch Dragon's Dogma Online gameplay in the debut trailer
Going by its first trailer, Dragon's Dogma Online plays much like its name indicates. The newly unveiled RPG allows parties of up to four players to take on a variety of monsters, small and large - sometimes very large. Like in the original Dragon's Dogma, players can cling to bigger beasties and get their Wander on, as you can see in the video below the break.

Along with the video, new screenshots some of the "Online" side including towns that players can congregate in and the chat windows pictured above.

Finally, the trailer confirms initial reports that Dragon's Dogma Online is a free-to-play game for PS4, PS3, and Windows PC, and that it's coming to Japan this year. According to Capcom, a Western release isn't in the company's plans.

Source: Capcom



Reptile gets the go-ahead for Mortal Kombat X
Who's next? Mortal Kombat series veteran Reptile will return in the upcoming multiplatform sequel Mortal Kombat X, developer NetherRealm Studios confirmed with IGN this week.

After making his debut as a hidden character in the original Mortal Kombat, Reptile went on to appear in many subsequent series entries, boasting a moveset that revolves around his ability to spit acid and draw in his opponents with magnetic projectiles. Hopefully, you won't need to trigger a secret match-up to see him this time around.

Mortal Kombat X will launch for the PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC platforms on April 14.

[Image: Midway]

Source: IGN



Grab a pint with free Dragon Age: Inquisition tavern songs
The songs that fill the tavern at Skyhold are now yours for the downloading, for free until February 9, when they will be sold on "popular digital platforms," BioWare says. The download includes sheet music, as well.

"If you've indulged in the opportunity at Skyhold's tavern to enjoy a break from the demons and Venatori, chances are you've heard some of the bard's lovely songs," BioWare writes. "Although bards do perform to entertain travelers, they also serve a greater purpose: to carry the tales of triumph and tragedy across the land. We've received many inquiries from our fans asking where they can get these songs, and we're thrilled that you're enjoying them as much as we do."

The tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition are performed by Elizaveta and written by Hollywood composer Raney Shockne.
[Image: BioWare]

Source: BioWare



Guilty Gear Xrd arcade to receive console-exclusive fighters
In a recent Japanese-language update, developer Arc System Works reveals plans to add the console exclusive characters of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- to the fighting game's arcade incarnation.

According to a translation by the fighting game devotees at Shoryuken, an update for the arcade game will be released that will both balance the game to more closely mimic its console counterpart and add three new fighters: Sin Kiske, Leo Whitefang and Elphelt Valentine. Sin is an unlockable playable character in the console game, while Leo and Elphelt were both added to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- as separate DLC characters after launch.

Arc System Works offers no word on when it plans to launch the update.
[Image: Aksys]

Via: Shoryuken

Source: Arc System Works



Square Enix action, stealth triple packs head to North America
Square Enix is preparing to launch the Ultimate Action Triple Pack and Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack for PS3 and Xbox 360 in North America this year, according to listings on Amazon spotted by @Wario64. The Action Triple Pack includes Tomb Raider, Just Cause 2 and Sleeping Dogs; the Stealth Triple Pack features Thief, Hitman: Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Each bundle is $30 and available for pre-order. The release date – December 31, 2015 – is most likely a placeholder.

The Stealth and Action triple packs launched in Europe last year for £30 / €40 each. We've reached out to Square Enix for clarification on the release date.
[Image: Square Enix]

Source: Amazon (1), (2), (3), (4)



PSN Store Update: Phrasing!
Alright, let's talk about dying lights, grim fandangos and how life is strange. No, not that recent rumor, silly-billy! We're totally referring to this week's new releases on the PlayStation Store, which include Techland's Dying Light ($60), the Grim Fandango remaster ($15) and the debut episode of teen drama Life is Strange ($5).

All three of those are on PS4, while you'll also find Life is Strange on PS3 and Grim Fandango on Vita. By the by, Grim Fandango is cross-buy; if you buy it on PS4 you'll unlock it on Vita for free, and vice versa. Meanwhile, Life is Strange won't be available until Friday, January 30.

Source: PlayStation Blog



Madden predicts Patriots over Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX

With Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, it's time again to gaze deep into the crystal ball that is the latest version of EA Sports' Madden NFL to see how the game will shake out. End result? Patriots beat Seahawks, 28 to 24, thanks to four touchdowns from Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady.
[Image: EA Sports]


Dragon's Dogma Online announced
Dragon's Dogma Online is official, after Famitsu announced it's featuring the game in the latest issue of its magazine. The entry in Capcom's action-RPG series was much speculated after trademarks showed up in Europe and Japan last month.

We're waiting on official details, but going by reports based on magazine scans, Dragon's Dogma Online is a free-to-play game for PS4, PS3, and PC. According to Siliconera, the game is due for release in Japan this year.

While the European trademark may raise hopes for an international release, a Capcom UK representative told Eurogamer this morning there are no plans to release Dragon's Dogma Online in the West.

Via: Gematsu, Siliconera

Source: Famitsu



Sony accepting claims on 2011 PSN data breach settlement
If you were a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment user at the time of the April 2011 Sony hack that disrupted the PlayStation Network for nearly a month and compromised 70 million user accounts, now's your chance to get a piece of the class action settlement levied against Sony last year.

To qualify, you must have held a PSN, Qriocity or Sony Online Entertainment account on or before May 14, 2011. Each service is eligible to receive different claims, but PSN users are able to receive either one or two games - if you already received a free game in Sony's 2011 "Welcome Back" promotion, you're only eligible for one; if not, you're eligible to choose two - from a list that includes standouts like LittleBigPlanet and God of War HD. Notably, none of the games on offer are for the PlayStation 4. If none of the games tickle your fancy, you can instead choose free dynamic themes for your PlayStation 3 or free PlayStation Plus subscription time.

After wading through multiple pages of bureaucratic legalese, you'll find everything you need to make your claim at the PSN-SOE settlement website.
[Image: Sony]

Via: Game Informer

Source: PSN-SOE Settlement



Destiny dev: DLC mistakes won't be repeated
Destiny designer Luke Smith recently addressed concerns over Bungie's future updates for the game. Namely, Smith said "the mistakes [Bungie] made with the DLC1 reward economy will not be repeated," in a NeoGAF thread, admitting the developer's previous attempts at expanding the first-person shooter with add-on content resulted in a few problems for players. Smith claims the developer will avoid mistakes such as "vendor gear invalidating the effort of [Vault of Glass] Raiders" and exotic gear upgrades resulting in a talent reset.

"Our philosophy about rewards/loot continue to evolve as we see how players play and react," Smith wrote. He noted that item drop rates appear to be "much improved" in the Crota's End DLC compared to Vault of Glass, and that Bungie plans to "improve acquisition stories and frequency" as well as "lessen the grind and get players to the fun parts of their arsenal faster." It issued a hot fix for Destiny in December to boost the drop rates for the Crota's End raid mission.
[Image: Activision]

Via: Kotaku

Source: NeoGAF



Lady Hammerlock joins Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's playable lineup
Lady Hammerlock, sister to researcher Sir Hammerlock and heir to the family's fortune, will add a bit of class to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's playable lineup on January 27. Aurelia is included in The Pre-Sequel's season pass, but a related press release notes that fans who prefer to pick up DLC a la carte can also don her fashionable demeanor for $9.99.

Lady Hammerlock's progression branch into Huntress, Cold Money and Contractual Aristocracy skill trees. Huntress focuses on sniping, offering a skill that dishes out critical hit bonuses for each consecutive shot on a target. Cold Money is all about ice damage, as made evident by one of its abilities implementing Cryo damage with any equipped weapon. Contractual Aristrocracy is all about status, as suggested by one of its unlockables reaping Lady Hammerlock bonuses from kills made by her peasant teammates.

When firefights call for desperate measures, Lady Hammerlock's Cold As Ice action skill spawns a Frost Diadem Shard that chases down and latches onto targets, dealing constant damage until they finally keel over so that the shard can move onto its next target.

If you sat out The Pre-Sequel in hopes of a current-gen port but still want to freeze things to death as Lady Hammerlock, don't fret – Borderlands Handsome Collection will include all season pass DLC when it arrives on March 24.
[Image: Gearbox]

Source: Gearbox



PSN Indie game flash sale: Resogun, Brothers, Shadow Warrior
A lineup of more than 60 indie games and various movies are on sale right now on the PlayStation Network as part of a new Flash Sale, the PlayStation Blog has revealed.

From now until Monday, January 26 at 9:00am, titles like the PS4 original downloadable indie title Resogun, Joystiq favorite Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and the modern revival of Shadow Warrior and more are available for up to 80% off. The sale features games across the PS4, PS3 and Vita libraries.

A handful of movies are also discounted as part of the deal, including Snowpiercer and The Raid 2.
[Image: Sony]

Source: PlayStation Blog



EA snitches on Battlefield Hardline, reveals maps and modes
Following a raid by local authorities, informants at publisher EA were compelled to give up detailed information on the multiplayer maps and game modes included in the upcoming cops versus robbers shooter Battlefield Hardline.

The nine maps included in Battlefield Hardline all seem either ripped from a Michael Mann heist film or from one of the earlier, military-focused Battlefield games. Bank Job centers around an imposing financial institution that must be relieved of its cash, Hollywood Heights is populated by expansive houses likely belonging to media moguls and hip hop artists and Riptide is an ocean-front map that continues the Battlefield series' long-running fascination with gun battles set against a tidal backdrop. There's also a map called "Growhouse," but we're guessing you can figure out what happens there. A full rundown on each of the maps can be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline will include seven gameplay modes, ranging from the classic to the wholly novel. Conquest is a Battlefield mainstay mode that pits teams of players (up to 64 in total) against one another in a battle to see who can control certain areas of the map. Blood Money, by contrast, is a new mode where both cops and robbers attempt to swipe money from the opposing teams' vault while gunfire rages all around. Perhaps the most intriguing new mode is Hotwire, a vehicle-focused addition in which the criminal team attempts to steal a list of cars while the cops try to stop them with extreme prejudice, leading to the sorts of high-speed gunfights pictured above. Full details on the game modes found in Battlefield Hardline can also be found on the game's website.

Battlefield Hardline is slated to launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on March 17.
[Image: EA]

Source: Battlefield



Jon Snow brings lack of knowledge to Game of Thrones Episode 2
The second episode of Telltale's six-part Game of Thrones saga debuts early next month, starting February 3 for PC, Mac, PS4 and PS3. Titled "The Lost Lords," the episode is also coming to Xbox One and 360 on February 4, iOS on February 5 and Android at a later date.

The Lost Lords continues the story of House Forrester, a Westeros family who in history have aligned with the Starks - not always the wisest alignment, it has to be said. Telltale's game is interwoven with HBO's TV series, and the plot takes place between the end of the third season and the start of the fifth.

If you've played the first episode then you've already had a few chit-chats with Cersei Lannister, her brother Tyrion, Margaery Tyrell and the huggably lovely Ramsay Snow. As the teaser trailer below the break reveals, another Snow is coming to the game in Episode 2.


Pelicans' Holiday is T-Rexing in NBA 2K15 glitch video

We're fairly certain that New Orleans Pelicans basketball player Jrue Holiday has perfectly functional arms in real life. As demonstrated by YouTube user wEEman33, it appears that NBA 2K15 disagrees. As seen in the video shared shared above, a recent glitch in the game caused Holiday's arms to seemingly retreat into his body following a server-side update to its MyTeam mode, leaving his hands to jut out from his shoulders like fish fins with opposable thumbs. To make matters worse, the shirtless Holiday was also missing part of his torso and occasionally disappeared, but none of it stopped him from sinking multiple three-point shots.

According to Operation Sports, the special armless "Sapphire" version of Holiday no longer exists, as Visual Concepts issued a patch to squash the bug yesterday. 2K Sports' basketball game is no stranger to horrifying glitches; NBA 2K15's face-scanning feature resulted in numerous monstrosities for created players. The publisher had fun with the issue, offering fans Halloween masks based on the face-scan glitch to print out and wear.
[Image: 2K Sports]

Via: OperationSports

Source: YouTube



Alien: Isolation: One million sold, scared
Publisher Sega and developer Creative Assembly are indirectly responsible for one hell of a laundry bill, as it was announced today that Alien: Isolation has officially sold one million copies worldwide. Accounting for at least one million players, and factoring in regular sessions with Alien: Isolation's precision engineered terror, we're talking millions of soiled undergarments. We're not aware of any spikes in detergent sales, but it seems like a given.

We're rather fond of Alien: Isolation here at Joystiq, where the game stealthily crept into our top ten games of 2014.

Joystiq Streams: Resident Evil HD bites back plus free PS4/PC copies!
A whole lot of superstars in this game here tonight, but I want you all to know one thing: This is Resident Evil in high definition. Whose blood? Chris' blood. I said whose blood? Chris' blood! Y'all know what time it is!

While the impossible dream of a Resident Evil soundtracked entirely by classic Run DMC cuts remains elusive, the HD remaster of Capcom's Gamecube classic is a sweet, sweet reality this week. After 13 years restricted to Nintendo's SD consoles, the hardest, prettiest version of the survival horror game is finally playable on more modern machines. How does it stack up? Do the new controls make it too easy? Is this indeed Chris' blood and will we ever discover the ingredients in a Jill sandwich? Join us and find out.

We're streaming Resident Evil on PC starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch. This will be a New Game+ run so some fresh costumes will be on display as well. Plus: we're giving away a few copies of the game on PC and PS4. Join us!

Joystiq.com/Twitch broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST. It's Wednesday, you say? That's right! We stream all the time at random times so follow us on Twitch to never miss a show.

Lawsuit alleges EA infringed on sports stadium update patent
White Knuckle IP filed a lawsuit late last week against EA, alleging that the publisher infringed on a patent that focuses on methods for updating sports games based on real-life changes. The suit referred to U.S. Pat. No. 8,529,350, which described methods that record real-world parameters, then store those elements on a server so players can download them to update their games. The patent dates back to October 2002.

While the patent is related to another one that deals with updating an athlete's statistics and skills based on real-life performance, the lawsuit focuses on changes to the appearance and attributes of stadiums and venues. The lawsuit specifically targets games in EA Sports' NCAA Football and Tiger Woods PGA Tour series, from NCAA Football 10 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 through the last respective entries, NCAA Football 14 and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14. According to Patent Arcade, White Knuckle "did not identify any specific feature in its complaint."
[Image: EA Sports]

Source: Patent Arcade, RFC Express






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