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Deals With Gold: Strike Suit Zero, Burnout, DBZ

Need a little more Goku in your life? This week's Deals With Gold lineup offers price drops on Dragon Ball Z Battle of Z and Ultimate Tenkaichi for the Xbox 360, along with a collection of acclaimed racers from EA and Codemasters.

The Xbox 360 Games on Demand versions of Burnout Revenge and Burnout Paradise are currently priced at $5.09 each for Xbox Live Gold members, and Need for Speed Most Wanted, Hot Pursuit, and Undercover are on sale for up to 75 percent off. Codemasters' Dirt 3, Vigil's Darksiders, and R.B.I. Baseball are also up for grabs at steep discounts.

Xbox One owners can pick up Forza Motorsport 5's Car Pass for 25 percent off this week, along with discounted copies of Strike Suit Zero Director's Cut and Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition. Listed price drops are active through October 28.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

Metallica will rock out at BlizzCon 2014

MetallicaImagine that you're a big-name game developer with a pile of money and millions of fans to impress at your yearly convention. Would you hire your favorite band from your youth to play a custom gig? Hell yeah you would. So would Blizzard, which is why the studio's just announced that Metallica will be performing at BlizzCon next month. It's the perfect band to listen to while riding around on your Azeroth Chopper and playing your Orc.

"We're thrilled to announce that Metallica will be performing the closing concert at BlizzCon 2014, playing before a sold-out convention crowd on the night of November 8!" Blizzard gushed in its announcement post earlier today. "If you didn't score tickets to the show, don't worry -- you can still get a front-row seat from home with the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket."

Hey, at least it's not Blink-182.

Fantasia: Music Evolved review: The rhythm is gonna get you

If you've seen the movie Fantasia, you know the bit where Mickey, the Sorcerer's Apprentice, puts on his robe and wizard hat and tries to make magic happen, arms sweeping grandly through the air. Things eventually get out of hand, of course, but for a brief while, Mickey feels the euphoric glee that comes with mastering something really difficult, and in its best moments, Xbox One exclusive Fantasia: Music Evolved makes you feel the exact same way. Pulling off its complicated combos makes you feel like an honest-to-goodness wizard, bending the forces of light and music to your mighty will. Best of all, no pesky brooms to clean up if you miss a beat.

The game doesn't really bear all that much resemblance to the movies that shares its name, though cranky sorcerer Yen Sid does make an appearance. You are indeed his apprentice, but your job is to clean up the noise that's cluttering several different areas of the world after Scout, another protege of Yen Sid, accidentally releases it by trying to get a peek at her future. She'd be happy to clean it up herself, but she doesn't have the magic that you learned as the sorcerer's apprentice, so it's on you to restore the music to each location. As cleanup duties go, it's way more fun than mucking about with a bucket and broom.

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The Stanley Parable sells one million copies

The existential horror of The Stanley Parable has sold over a million copies. The announcement came from Davey Wreden, the architect of Stanley's prison, who spends his days waiting for Godot... and, likely, creating a new game.


Stanley contemplated if this milestone meant that a million people had taken sadistic pleasure in his torture, but he took solace in knowing his pain brought accolades. He observed the virtual trophy on his screen and a sense of serenity washed over him. He struggled with this feeling. Was it complacency or happiness?

Uber axes Human Resources Kickstarter campaign

Planetary Annihilation developer Uber Entertainment canceled its Kickstarter campaign for Human Resources, the developer's human-harvesting, apocalyptic real-time strategy game. "Every Kickstarter prediction model is showing that we will come up woefully short of our goal," the developer wrote in an update on its funding page, adding that it can't continue spending time and money on a project that won't get funded. "One thing is for sure, Human Resources, as pitched in this Kickstarter, is over. But we adore the world of Human Resources and will endeavor to do what we can to bring it to life in some form."

The developer raised $384,358 of its $1.4 million goal on the funding platform. The lofty goal would have been difficult for any aspiring developer to overcome; just four of the 341 Kickstarter games tracked in our one-year Crowdfund Bookie research series earned that much money in their campaigns. Even the $844,127 hauled in by Harmonix for Amplitude in May was an anomaly in a funding space that scarcely supports big-budget projects like it once did. Human Resources was planned to end in two weeks on Tuesday, November 4.
[Image: Uber Entertainment]

Until Dawn: Modern horror Caged on PlayStation 4



Teens go into cabin. Cabin is in the woods. Slashers are in the cabin. Seems simple, no? Until Dawn, Supermassive Games' exclusive new horror game for the PlayStation 4, is a little unclear with its intentions, though. Are the slashers within its cabin original freaks that are more than they appear to be or just impressions of the classics?

Dawn doesn't just borrow the scenery from myriad horror flicks like Evil Dead and Cabin Fever. It wears its influences and references so brazenly on its sleeve that you'd almost expect to be a post-modern genre riff a la Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods. The 20 minute demo Sony brought to New York this month just wasn't enough to determine what it's driving at one way or another, but Until Dawn certainly trades in some extreme situations. Whether those situations will actually be scary depends first on how the game plays out in full, and second on whether Supermassive clears up some troublesome bugs.

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WildStar reveals big lore drops on the Aurin and the Mechari

Boy, this information could have been really useful back when the game launched, but...
It's time to learn everything about the WildStar races that you were afraid to ask. Or, more likely, that you did ask. There's a lot of lore in the game, but it's possible to miss some pieces of important information, and players always have lore questions no matter what happens. So the team at Carbine Studios asked for player questions, and creative director Chad Moore has posted the first set of answers in the form of pages for the Aurin and the Mechari.

Both pages contain an overview of the racial histories, culture, social structures, relations with other races, lifespans... everything you could want to know at a glance regarding the operations of these species. Veteran players will find some elements of this unsurprising, but there's more to learn and some longstanding theories confirmed (like the functional immortality of the Mechari or the Aurin preference for analogies). Take a look at both pages for more information.

PSA: Do not send death threats to digital distribution platform holders

Paranautical Activity is on Kickstarter now
The general public service announcement here is to not send death threats, like, in general, but here's an incident of a developer posting a death threat on Twitter against Valve's Gabe Newell, who runs a little digital distribution shop called Steam.

Polygon has the gritty details, but the shorter version is developer Mike Maulbeck, creator of Paranautical Activity, was having a bad day yesterday with his Steam page. He's also had reported issues with the platform in the past. The latest problem was the Steam page was improperly noting the status of the game and, following a series of escalating tweets, he concluded saying: "I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die."

That, don't do that.

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Demon's Crest, Gargoyle's Quest 2 invade eShop on October 30

Capcom will resurrect a pair of demonic platformers from its back catalog next week with the launch of Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the Nintendo eShop.

Both games star Ghosts 'n Goblins series antagonist Firebrand, and both feature side-scrolling action bolstered by action-RPG elements. Firebrand navigates an RPG-like overworld in between difficult platforming sequences in 1992's Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES, while the 1994 SNES series finale Demon's Crest takes a more open-ended approach, challenging players to return to previously-explored levels as they uncover hidden items and pursue multiple endings.

Capcom's upcoming eShop re-releases will premiere at a significant discount compared to their current aftermarket prices. Cartridge-only copies of Demon's Crest are hovering around $100 on eBay these days, and Gargoyle's Quest 2 is approaching $70. 3DS and Wii U owners get Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $4.99 next week, and Demon's Crest will hit the Wii U eShop exclusively for $7.99.

(For the record, I sold my cartridge of Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $10 and complete-in-box (sob) copy of Demon's Crest for around $20 years ago. I regret my mistakes.)

[Image: Capcom / VG Museum]

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 covers Metal Gear Solid, Spelunky, and more


The second season of Boss Fight Books will feature in-depth analyses of Metal Gear Solid, Baldur's Gate 2, and other landmark games, independent publisher Gabe Durham announced this week.

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 is a collection of six books that each exhaustively cover a single game, with developer interviews and other supplementary material accompanying author insight. Announced works include Spelunky by designer Derek Yu, Baldur's Gate 2 by author Matt Bell, Bible Adventures by Gabe Durham, World of Warcraft by Daniel Lisi, and Metal Gear Solid by Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? creators Ashly and Anthony Burch. The subject of a sixth book will be picked from nominations suggested by Kickstarter backers.

Originally pitched as "the 33 1/3 of video games," Boss Fight Books launched last year with a series of six volumes covering Galaga, Jagged Alliance 2, and other titles at length. Actor Ken Baumann penned the first entry in the series, offering a personal look at Nintendo's widely praised SNES RPG Earthbound.

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 has already surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal. Books will begin shipping out to backers in May, 2015.

[Image: Boss FIght Books]

Doctor Who game starring Capaldi teaches kids to code

The Doctor and the Dalek is a web-based game intended to teach kids age 6 to 12 how to code, starring a friendly Dalek and The Doctor as portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Capaldi lends his voice to the game and it's written by series writer Phil Ford.

The Doctor and the Dalek is part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative, which aims to inspire youngsters to get creative with coding and digital technology. For those in the UK, the game will be available for free at bbc.co.uk/cbbc beginning Wednesday, October 22. See a video of the game in action at the BBC.
[Image: BBC]

Space Engineers assemble a million sales

Space Engineers touches down on Steam Early Access
A million people have picked up their Space Engineers license, according to developer Keen Software House. The game celebrates the sales milestone in conjunction with its one year anniversary of availability on Steam Early Access, where it still resides.

"Looking to the future, Space Engineers will remain in development for a while longer," Keen Software noted today. "Focusing on adding new features and bug fixing and also continue taking feedback and suggestions from the community who is helping to further improve and expand the game."

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UK considers quadrupling prison terms for Internet trolls

In an effort to "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob," lawmakers in the UK will soon debate an amendment that could quadruple prison terms for Internet trolls, from the current six months to a maximum of two years.

"These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Daily Mail. "No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence." Grayling's comments come in direct response to the recent online harassment of television presenter Chloe Madeley, who was subjected to rape threats after her mother appeared on the ITV network talk show Loose Women to discuss soccer star and convicted rapist Ched Evans.

"As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion," Grayling added. "This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: If you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."

Unfortunately, online harassment is a global epidemic. Recent harassment campaigns against Anita Sarkeesian have also included both rape and death threats, and in one instance forced the outspoken critic to cancel a major public appearance.
[Image: Wikimedia]

Far Cry 4 season pass offers yetis, drugs and prison breaks

For those who want to spend a bit more time in Kyrat than Far Cry 4 offers on its own comes the $30 season pass, which offers a handful of new missions and an additional player vs player gameplay mode.

At launch, those who've purchased the season pass will receive exclusive access to The Syringe, a mission in which players must keep a potent drug from falling into the hands of warlord Pagan Min. Escape From Durgesh Prison, as its name suggests, sees players attempting to escape from one of Min's prisons, either solo or with a friend playing as series mainstay Hurk. Speaking of Hurk, the lovable explosives expert brings with him an five additional missions that introduce a number of new weapons, including a harpoon gun.

On the more supernatural side of things, we have Valley of the Yetis, a mission that drops our hero onto a frozen mountaintop populated both by a mysterious cult and the mysterious, hairy creatures of its title. The Overrun multiplayer game type likewise dips into the arcane as players assume the role of either Rakshasa or a member of the Golden Path in a battle to wrest control of map locations from your opponents.

Unfortunately lacking from Ubisoft's announcement is word on when these downloadable additions will become available to season pass holders. The Syringe is slated to debut alongside Far Cry 4 on November 18, but otherwise Ubisoft has yet to reveal when the $30 season pass will pay off.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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What happened to all of the women coders in 1984

In 1984, women stopped pursuing Computer Science majors at American universities. From 1970 onward, women had composed an increasing percentage of Computer Science majors, but something happened in 1984 and that number began to drastically fall, an occurrence at odds with other tech fields. This trend has continued into the 2000s, and today women make up roughly 20 percent of Computer Science majors, as opposed to the 1984 high of about 37 percent.

NPR's Planet Money team of Caitlin Kenney and Steve Henn dove into the data to uncover what went down in the mid-80s to drive women out of the field.

"There was no grand conspiracy in computer science that we uncovered," Henn said. "No big decision by computer science programs to put a quota on women. There was no sign on a door that said, 'Girls, keep out.' But something strange was going on in this field."

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 117: The Evil Within, Far Cry 4, Bayonetta 2

Latest episode: Friday, October 17th, 2014

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