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Destiny's plot condensed to Dinklebot size

Image A brief and accurate retelling of Destiny's story. Take that information in whatever spirit you wish to interpret it.... Continue Reading

Terrorists invade Gone Home in new Counter-Strike map

If you felt that critical darling Gone Home featured too little gameplay and not nearly enough gunplay, today's your lucky day: A Counter-Strike fan going by the name of "Nipper" has recreated Gone Home's idyllic suburban location within Valve's beloved first-person shooter.

Designed for up to 32 players (but recommended for far fewer), cs_gonehome essentially transplants the tenets of Counter-Strike into the meticulously detailed home that served as the setting for Gone Home. Each new round sees players purchasing weaponry and gear before setting out to hunt down the opposing faction, while hostages are spawned at random each time the game resets itself.

Despite this, many commenters on Steam are quick to point out that the design of the Gone Home house doesn't lend itself well to Counter-Strike's gameplay. Complaints range from a lack of lighting in the cellar, to too many areas in which campers can hide and narrow corridors that make Counter-Strike's most overpowered guns even more effective.

"There are several ways in which the map doesn't work all the well in [Counter-Strike], but that's hardly the point, I think," writes Steam user Space Hamlet before describing the map as "a fascinating intersection of the design of two games."
[Image: Valve]

Alien: Isolation Season Pass is for Survivor Mode DLC

Alien: Isolation's Survivor Mode is simple and scary: survive against the clock and the alien, with limited resources on each map. The first Survivor Mode map, Basement, is included with the game when it launches on October 7. Alien: Isolation is getting a Season Pass for all five of its Survivor Mode map packs, the first of which launches on October 28. Each Survivor Mode pack includes three maps.

The first map pack has its "own set objective and challenges, a new playable character and a variety of enemy types between you and your escape," Sega writes in a press release. "Over the following months, four more add-on packs will release, each featuring a new playable character, and a mix of new maps and game modes to challenge even the most proficient player."

All of the Survivor Mode maps are due to be out by March 2015, Sega says. There's no word on a price for the individual packs or the Season Pass, but the pass gives players a discount of "up to" 25 percent.

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Unity Pro now free for all licensed PlayStation developers

Unity Pro is now available for all licensed PlayStation developers at the low, low cost of nothing. Those that become approved developers for Sony's platforms will have access to "PlayStation ready versions" of Unity Pro, which offers developers the tools to create 2D and 3D games and applications. Unity Pro normally costs $1,500 or $75 per month, as listed on Unity's store.

Unity entered a partnership with Sony to offer optimized tools for the PlayStation platforms in March 2013. Sony has since shown greater interest in hosting the creations of independent developers, adding "fully-integrated solutions" for PS3 and Vita this past March. PlayStation Mobile developers received free access to Unity for PSM in June before Sony killed support for PSM on Android last month.
[Image: Unity]

Steam summons Final Fantasy 4 PC redux

Following hints from earlier today that the Final Fantasy 13 trio may be coming to Steam, we discover that an earlier entry in Square Enix's classic roleplaying franchise has already taken up residence on Valve's ubiquitous digital distribution platform.

Final Fantasy 4, a game initially released in the United States as Final Fantasy 2, can now be purchased from Steam at a price of $16. According to the game's listing, this new PC version of Final Fantasy 4 boasts "fully voiced, dramatic cut-scenes," a new system for charting in-game dungeons and an "inspiring score" which can be accessed in-game via a new jukebox feature. This latest iteration of Final Fantasy 4 utilizes the same super-deformed polygonal characters first seen in the 2007 Nintendo DS remake, but with graphics that are optimized for the PC.

For more information and a full rundown on the game's technical requirements, visit the Final Fantasy 4 Steam listing. The game is currently available exclusively for PC, and Square Enix has yet to mention additional versions for the Mac or Linux operating systems.
[Image: Square Enix]

Capcom slashes prices on PSN, from Okami to Street Fighter

Capcom fans with access to the PlayStation Network have good reason to be excited, as the publisher has unleashed a deluge of discounts on games ranging from classic 2D fighters to modern survival horror epics.

Highlights of the sale include fan-favorite PlayStation 2 crossover fighter Capcom vs SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 at $5 and Lost Planet 3 at $13.49. The Resident Evil games are likewise discounted, with Resident Evil 4 HD at $6.80, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition at $15 and the HD remake of Resident Evil: Revelations at a mere $13.49, among other sizable survival horror discounts. Capcom's discounts on Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max and Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen are especially tempting, as both the classic 2D fighter and the uneven but compelling third-person fantasy adventure can be purchased together for less than $10.

For full details on all of Capcom's newly-announced discounts, visit Capcom Unity. Not only are all of the discounted games listed in an easy to read format, but Capcom also links directly to the Sony Entertainment Network, saving potential customers the hassle of looking up each game individually on their Sony console of choice.
[Image: Capcom]

Joystiq Deals: iDrive offers a year of 1TB cloud storage

Thanks to fires, floods and other acts of a random universe, it's just not safe keeping all your important documents on your home computer. This is where iDrive comes in: Instead of storing all of your photos, tax documents and steamy love letters at home, you can instead send it all to the cloud for safekeeping.

For the next 11 days, Joystiq Deals is offering a one year subscription to the iDrive Pro Personal Plan for $19 - less than one-third of the Plan's standard $60 price. Not only does the iDrive Pro Personal Plan offer 1TB of storage, it also offers 1TB of sync space and free mobile file access. The Plan also encrypts all files with "military grade" 256-bit AES encryption, ensuring that anyone attempting to take a peek at your (tasteful) nudes will need a powerful computer and a few millennia to crack iDrive's protection.

The iDrive Pro Personal Plan is available on Windows, Mac and Linux. For full details and more information on the iDrive Pro Personal Plan, visit the Joystiq Deals website.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Ice Climbers won't be in the new Smash Bros, and here's why

Fans of the Nintendo Entertainment System launch title Ice Climber (yes, they exist) may be disappointed to learn that stars Popo and Nana will not return for the latest entry in the Super Smash Bros. series, due out this year for the Nintendo Wii U and 3DS. In a recent issue of Famitsu, Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai revealed that the pair's absence was due to technical limitations, rather than any ill will aimed at Ice Climber.

Sakurai notes, via a Nintendo Everything translation, that the Ice Climbers were up and running in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros, but the 3DS lacked the hardware horsepower to render the team, making a roster cut necessary. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Melee, players controlled both Popo and Nana simultaneously, requiring hardware capable of rendering eight playable characters at once in the event that all four players chose the Ice Climbers.

As consolation, players can look forward to a similar retro-inspired team making its debut in Super Smash Bros. No, it's not Balloon Fight's heroes, sadly, nor is it a pair of whatever-they-ares from Clu Clu Land. You get one more guess.

[Image: Nintendo]

Joystiq Streams: When a Canadian coaches a scrub in NHL 15



The Rangers versus Kings Stanley Cup final this past June was one of the most watched Stanley Cup finals in a generation. NBC reported it had about 5 million viewers total. To put that in perspective, the Super Bowl snagged 111.5 million viewers in February.

Who cares, though! So the NHL doesn't have the same kind of following as the NFL. Big surprise. That doesn't make the league or the sport any less fascinating. What we need is a guide to walk us through those confusing frozen halls. Lucky for us, Joystiq has a secret weapon: Xav de Matos!

Starting at 4:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, Xav (@Xav) is going to teach Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello), a complete NHL neophyte, how to play NHL 15 on PlayStation 4. Don't know what icing is? We're going to find out. How weird is it going to get? Pretty weird.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts on Joystiq.com/Twitch every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST, but we regularly broadcast other days of the week so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Electronic Arts]

In Real Life: A gaming graphic novel giveaway from Joystiq

With the fall gaming season in full swing now, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the flood. Do I play Destiny? Hyrule Warriors? What about good ol' Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call? Too many games! Let's step back from playing, give our brains a collective breather, and just read about playing them instead. Doesn't that sound relaxing?

Lucky for you, Jen Wang and Cory Doctorow have just released In Real Life. With slick writing and warm art, In Real Life is a graphic novel about a teenage gold farmer that will soothe the savage gaming beast inside. Read a preview of the book in the gallery below.

We're giving away five free copies of In Real Life. All you need to do to snatch one is Like Joystiq on Facebook and/or follow us on Twitter using the widget below. Check out the full rules below as well!


In Real Life: A gaming graphic novel giveaway from Joystiq
[Images: First Second Books]



JoySwag Giveaway Rules

Massively's ArcheAge launch diary: Day five - Random knowledge

Today's diary entry is going to skip around a bit, as I'm still dabbling all over ArcheAge and finding it nearly impossible to convey everything important inside of a few thousand words. If you're just joining us, this is day five of Massively's launch chronicle because even though the game "launched" yesterday, it really launched last Friday via the founder head start.

I'm aware that some people had disconnect issues and nightmare two-hour login queues on the 16th. I did not have much trouble with either, presumably because of my Patron account status regarding the latter. Trion does have some work to do, though, as I noticed a lot of slow-down in high-traffic areas throughout much of my play session last night, and I also logged into a black screen more than once and had to re-queue as a result.

In other words, it was a typical MMO launch day. I've seen better, but I've also seen far, far worse.

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Plague Inc: Evolved catches custom scenarios on Steam

The Steam Early Access version of Ndemic Creations' global pandemic sim Plague Inc: Evolved has updated with a new Scenario Creator, letting players unleash their own devastating diseases across a simulated Earth.

After installing today's update, players are able to create and share their deadly scenarios with fellow Steam users via Steam Workshop. Over 200 custom-created scenarios have launched in the update's first day of release, and players can browse publicly shared creations using Plague Inc's new in-game browser.

"The biggest and most-requested update yet, the Scenario Creator allows players to hit the lab and use the same tools that we do to create awesome new content for Plague Inc: Evolved," producer Marc Pick said. "The content will grant a dynamic flow of new, user-generated content to players of the game."

[Image: Ndemic Creations]

A mindset to match The Evil Within

I think a lot about mental health. Partly because I co-founded a charity dedicated to increasing empathy and education about mental health issues, but mostly because I love horror games like The Evil Within. Zombies and ghosts and demons are fun, of course, but what I really like is a good old-fashioned psycho killer. See? "Psycho," as in "crazy," as in "mentally ill." Part of The Evil Within, like so many other horror games, takes place in an abandoned mental asylum (they're always abandoned and left to decay, never bulldozed and turned into condos). There is a stigma about mental health that prevents people from seeking care, and even though I believe the way mental health is portrayed in entertainment is a big factor in maintaining that stigma, I still love me some crazy bad guys. So, I think a lot about mental health.

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CastleStorm: Definitive Edition catapults to Xbox One, PS4 next week

If you missed out on CastleStorm's multiplatform launch last year, you'll have the chance to catch up next week with an expanded edition premiering for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, developer Zen Studios announced today.

CastleStorm: Definitive Edition bolsters its physics-driven tower defense gameplay with a visually updated 1080p presentation and a collection of new gameplay modes and features not found in the original release. The package also includes the "From Outcast to Savior" and "Warrior Queen" expansions, both previously released as DLC for the PlayStation 3 and other platforms.

CastleStorm: Definitive Edition will be available for $9.99 when it hits the PlayStation 4 on September 23 and the Xbox One on September 24.

[Image: Zen Studios]

WildStar's housing gets huge with Drop 3

wildstar
Housing fanatics (including those eternal level 14s) in WildStar have great reason to cheer for the upcoming Drop 3. Carbine Studios is giving a ton of love to the player housing system, including a huge expansion of how many items can be placed.

In yesterday's Nexus Report, the team answered many housing questions and outlined some of the big changes coming with Drop 3. When it hits, players will be able to place up to 1,000 decor items both indoors and outdoors, which is an increase from the current 300 exterior and 800 interior limits. Other improvements include musical selection, more lights, separate sharing privileges for gardens, and a blank housing choice. The team has also been discussing new base terrains and the ability to move FABkits around.

We've got the full video for you after the break, so chow down!

[Thanks to Greg for the tip!]

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Super Joystiq Podcast 112: Danganronpa 2, Azure Striker Gunvolt, downtime & future games

Latest episode: Friday, September 12th, 2014

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