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3DS Nintendo Direct for Japan announced for tomorrow

Image Nintendo of Japan is streaming a new Direct broadcast tomorrow, August 29, focused on upcoming 3DS games. There are no announcements yet from the company's American or Euro branches. In any case, it's taking place at 8PM Japan time (4AM PT/7AM ET/12PM UK) and you'll be able to watch it right here... Continue Reading

Glameow it up with Pokemon Alpha & Omega steelbooks in EU

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby are getting their own steelbook bundles in Europe, complete with Kyogre and Groudon figurines respectively. Bundles including the game are coming to GAME and Nintendo's online store in the UK, and will be available for pre-order. The House of Mario Marowak lists the steelbook and figurine separately at £40; we've reached out to confirm if that also includes the game at that price.

The Poke-remakes are also scoring some other pre-order goodies in the UK. Pre-orders of the standalone version at GAME get the respective figure chucked in, while early birds at Shopto will get their own early bird, namely a 2D keyring of Torchic. As for the small matter of the game itself, it hits 3DS in North America on November 21, then a week across the pond on November 28.
[Image: Nintendo]

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CCP lays off two execs, closes San Francisco offices

Gamasutra reports that EVE Online developer CCP has closed its San Francisco studio and fired CFO Joe Gallo and CMO David Reid. The firm's revenue and earnings were both down year-over-year, the website says.

CCP laid off 49 staffers from its Reykjavik headquarters in June after announcing the cancellation of its long-gestating World of Darkness MMO in April.

Dark Souls 2 DLC still locked for EU PS3 season pass holders [update]

Update: Perhaps we're a lucky charm. Shortly after this post went live, users on the game's Facebook page began reporting the DLC issues are now resolved, and PS3 pass holders in Europe can download the content for free. Bandai Namco's yet to confirm that officially.

Original Story: European PS3 season pass holders for Dark Souls 2 are currently unable to unlock content they've already paid for, despite it being available for everyone else. The second of a trilogy of DLC, Crown of the Old Iron King, launched this week with no hitches on PC and Xbox 360, but for EU owners of the PS3 pass it shows up as requiring purchase.

This may seem like another of the game's nefarious lateral challenges, but the only solution at present is to buy the DLC, which is a pretty terrible solution since you've already ponied up the cash. Bandai Namco apologized for the error and warned PS3 pass holders to not purchase the content while it tries to fix the problem.

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Vita rides into the Joe Danger zone next week

Side-scrolling stuntman Joe Danger debuts on Vita as a freebie for PS Plus subscribers, and he's due to land on September 2/3 in North America and Europe. The handheld port of the Hello Games' PS3 puzzler-trickster includes all the original's levels, plus ghost replays and the Laboratory dev challenges from other versions. It also has "slightly tweaked" controls including a touch interface for level creation, all of which sounds sensible to us. There's no word yet on a price for Plus non-members - the PS3 version is priced $15.

Joe Danger's mix of Trials-like puzzling and ridiculous stunts caught the eye back in 2010, as did Joe Danger 2: The Movie with its near-Joystiq levels of punny titles for levels. On that note, Hello Games says the follow-up is still on its way to Vita, and the No Man's Sky studio expects to have more news on that "soon-ish."
[Image: Sony Computer Entertainment]

Postponed PSN maintenance rescheduled for today

The past few days saw the PlayStation Network undergo more downtime than a bear in winter, so Sony postponed Monday's regular maintenance 'til later in the week. That later is today, and between 12:40PM and 7:50PM ET (9:40AM and 4:50PM PT) PlayStation users won't be able to access the Store, Home or Account Management. As long as you've signed in at any point since August 23, you'll still be able to play games online and use apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus and so on.

It's always frustrating when you can't access stuff, but in the words of Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." In other words, perhaps use the downtimes to dine at a fancy restaurant, take the stage at a parade, and find epiphanies in the destruction of your father's rare Ferrari.

Just to be clear, we're not telling you to ruin your dad's Ferrari. Or any car. Look, this Ferris Bueller reference has gotten away from us, and we'd like to bail out right now.
[Image: Paramount Pictures]

Theatrhythm Curtain Call trailer shows off Type-0 scenarios

Image Nintendo 3DS rhythm game Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call will feature content culled from the lost (to the western world) PSP Final Fantasy spinoff Final Fantasy Type-0, Square Enix revealed this week. Curtain Call includes playable characters and tracks from Type-0 ahead of its upgraded... Continue Reading

Doctor Who DLC wibbles, wobbles to Minecraft Xbox 360

A Doctor Who skin pack (that still sounds gross) hits Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition in September, priced at $3. The pack includes the Daleks, other enemies, six Doctors and each of their companions, starting with a version based on current Doctor Peter Capaldi and his companion, Clara, played by Jenna Coleman.

At least, that's what the promo images suggest. While PlayXBLA lists the included Doctor as the twelfth, Xbox Wire says this pack comes with the eleventh Doctor. The Minecraft images show Capaldi, who is the twelfth Doctor, though after that messy business with the War Doctor, an incarnation of the Doctor existing between his eighth and ninth regenerations, the whole count is out of whack. We understand that the numbers thing is a little confusing.

That said, the images suggest Peter Capaldi's Doctor will appear in Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition this September, alongside Jenna Coleman and some Daleks. That's settled. This is the first of many Doctor Who skin packs, which promise to deliver "a wide selection of the best characters from the entire 50 years of Doctor Who," Microsoft says.

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Indie Megabooth Solid Gold Collection is 6 games for $20

The Indie Megabooth Solid Gold Collection is here for all those discount divas on Steam, offering Guacamelee! Gold Edition, Hotline Miami, The Stanley Parable, Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine and FRACT OSC all for just $20. Individually priced, these all tally up to $85.

As Megabooth puts it: "Think of it as the gaming equivalent of a prized box set from your favorite classic rock band, but without all the weird 'lost tracks' from their freestyle-jazz period. Sound awesome? That's because it is awesome. And by buying this awesomeness you're not only helping to support the indie developers who made the games, you're also supporting the Megabooth, so we can keep doing our thing and bringing you the best indie games, live, in person, at gaming conventions all over the world."

The Indie Megabooth recently made its Gamescom debut, and it's heading to PAX Prime next week with 78 games and seven panels.
[Image: Indie Megabooth]

Next game from Metro series developer 'less linear, more sandbox'

The next game from Metro 2033 developer 4A Games will shift away from a linear progression and offer players a more freeform approach to gameplay, studio CTO Oles Shishkovstov told Eurogamer this week.

"For the game we are working on now, our designers have shifted to a more sand-box-style experience - less linear but still hugely story-driven," Shishkovstov said. "I will not go into details, but it requires some work from programmers as well. Also, we are improving graphics in very different aspects, like recently we did a physically-based global ambient occlusion (instead of local, like SSAO). I will not talk about PBR (physically-based rendering) here, because here we are at the stage when artists are still adapting their mentality to it."

Shishkovstov did not reveal whether the undisclosed project is a new entry in the studio's Metro series. The visually upgraded franchise compilation Metro Redux shipped this week for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms.

[Image: 4A Games]

Legendary Gems, Greater Rifts now infest Diablo 3

As if Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls wasn't already packed with enough content to keep you dutifully clicking away at demons for months, Blizzard has launched Patch 2.1.0 which adds a host of new items and activities to the fan-favorite dungeon crawl.

Most notable are the addition of Greater Rifts and Legendary Gems. Unlike Nephalem Rifts, Greater Rifts force players to slay enough monsters to summon a Rift Guardian while racing against a countdown clock. Unfortunately, the only creature in the Greater Rift capable of dropping any items is the Rift Guardian, so if you don't kill enough demons to summon the big fella, you've wasted all that time and effort. As you'd expect, those who do manage to kill the Rift Guardian within the time limit will walk away with some very nice rewards.

Legendary Gems offer all the benefits of their standard counterparts, but can be infinitely upgraded and include unique enhancements not found elsewhere. They can only be socketed into rings and amulets, but each time you complete a Greater Rift there's a chance your Legendary Gem will be upgraded, depending on how quickly and decisively you dispatched the Rift's denizens.

Full details on what's included in Patch 2.1.0 can be found on Blizzard's Diablo 3 website. There's currently no word on when or if this new content will be added to the recently-released Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, but Blizzard has committed to supporting both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of the game with post-launch content additions.
[Image: Activision Blizzard]

PlayStation All-Stars, Sportsfriends free on PS Plus next month


Sony revealed next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will get free access to PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, Sportsfriends, Velocity 2X, and other featured games throughout the month of September.

Starting September 2, PlayStation 4 owners can download Futurlab's hybrid shooter-platformer Velocity 2X and Die Gute Fabrik's competitive multiplayer party game compilation Sportsfriends free of charge.

PlayStation 3 members receive copies of the Super Smash Bros.-like mascot brawler PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and dragon-riding multiplayer action game Hoard, while PS Vita players can expect to see Hello Games' motorbike stunt sim Joe Danger and Llamasoft's Tempest variant TxK.

[Video: Sony]

BioShock iOS available tonight, priced at $14.99


BioShock for iOS - a full port of the first-person shooter (minus DLC) - will be available starting tonight. Publisher 2K Games expects the game to be available around 9PM Pacific (Midnight Eastern, 5AM UK). It'll be a premium priced mobile app at $14.99, similar to the excellent XCOM iOS.

BioShock for iOS is compatible only with iPad Air, iPad Mini 2, iPad 4, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iPhone 5. Would you kindly not try it with any other devices.

Update: To bring Rapture to your tablets and smartphones, download BioShock at this link.
[Image: 2K Games]

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Margaret joins Western cast of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Atlus has made it official: Velvet Room attendant Margaret will be joining the cast of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax in the Americas as post-launch DLC.

Fans of the Persona roleplaying game series will remember Margaret from Persona 4 as the dapper assistant of the mysterious Igor, lord of the equally mysterious Velvet Room. Since Margaret has such close ties with the likely supernatural Igor, she boasts more than her fair share of Personas. According to Atlus, Margaret will enter battle armed with "three Personas, Cu Chulainn, Yoshitsune, and Ardha, and a staggering eight Persona cards."

Like Adachi and Marie, Margaret will appear after the debut of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax as a DLC character. Unlike those two, however, Margaret will only come available a week after the game's launch and will not be included in the "FreeLC" promotion that grants the former two fighters to players at no charge. There's currently no word on how much the Margaret DLC might cost.

Watch Randy Orton, Goldust enter the ring in WWE 2K15

Image While we still don't know how well the actual wrestling aspect of WWE 2K15 will hold up, these two vignettes - one above and one below the break - demonstrate that the developers certainly understand the over-the-top theatrics that have turned pro wrasslin' into sports entertainment. [Image:... Continue Reading

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The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 109: Madden 15, Akiba's Trip, PS Vita

Latest episode: Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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