Like the Yo-Kai Watch 2 Direct, today's broadcast on 3DS games from third-party publishers is Japan-only. There aren't simultaneous videos in North America and Europe, so maybe we shouldn't expect any big announcements. Then again, I've said stuff like that before in Nintendo Direct posts only to be proven very, very wrong. In any case, we should see some of the games that haven't been announced for the West, maybe including Dragon Quest X.
Whatever's on the menu, it's gonna taste all the better if you watch it right here on Joystiq, guaranteed!*. The fun starts at 7AM ET (4AM PT, 12PM UK), and the stream eagerly awaits your company below the break.
*It really isn't.
Available to pick up for any price you want is Windforge, Stacking, ReignMaker (plus its inspiration, Tower of Elements), Paranautical Activity and a key for the Strife closed beta. Pay $6 or more and get Darkout, Signs of Life and a 30-day subscription to Curse Premium, a service that grants users perks on Curse-owned websites. Throw down $10 or more and snag Lifeless Planet and Edge of Space.
For $36 or more, you'll also get the "Indie Appreciation Pack," which includes a t-shirt, a Curse wristband, and Curse and Gamepedia vinyl stickers.
Money spent on this week's Humble Bundle benefits, in part, the IndieCade Foundation and First Book, a nonprofit that provides new books and educational supplements to children and areas in need.
Sonic Jump Fever has arrived on both iOS and Google Play, Sega has announced. The game follows up on the Blue Blur's previous mobile outing, Sonic Jump, and it promises even more of the rodent's famous, signature talent: jumping. Players jump and bounce as high as possible, collecting lots of goodies along the way to increase their score.
The big addition to Sonic Jump Fever is the ability to compete with friends and earn prizes. In fact, duping ... er, gently convincing your friends to play will reap rewards, as "the more friends players have, the more elite the prizes up for grabs." The game is free, though there are plenty of microtransactions available if you feel like feeding the Sonic fever.
Finji works with other developers on their own games, such as Infinite Fall's Night in the Woods, and Fernando Ramallo and David Kanaga's Panoramical, which is also backed by Polytron Partners. So far, the collaboration is going better than he'd hoped, Saltsman says. Developers use a combination of text messages, Skype and Google apps to get their work done, and they're figuring out the kinks among everyone's schedules. Most of the team is local to Austin, Texas, but they do have to deal with some time zone confusion and melding different work habits.
Our review of the game praised its touch-based controls as well as its creative, contraption-like level design, though Leo's Fortune is a little on the short side with only a few dozen levels to complete. The game costs $4.99 on Google Play and supports controllers and gamepads made for Android devices as well as leaderboards, achievements and cloud save support.
"It is intended to be scary or unsettling or lonely, but I don't think it will be compared to Resident Evil or Amnesia," Saltsman tells Joystiq. "The thing I'm most interested in right now is, what if the people in a roguelike-type scenario weren't heroes and could not become heroes ... how do they manage? I like that feeling of vulnerability more than the feeling of 'horror' exactly. As a team we're definitely investigating things that are lonely and vulnerable and beautiful more than 'scary' so far, I think."
The Veteran-level pack, previously a $20 pack that included 4,000 "rune stones," will now include 1,500 in-game gold and a 30-day "Major All Booster" that ups players' XP and gold production by 50 percent, all for $5 (while still including a Veteran badge and early access to the game). Three of the other founders packs have received similar adjustments, with the Warlord pack dropping from $35 to $13, the Warband pack from $50 to $20 and the most expensive one, the Immortal pack, moving from $150 to $50. The Nosgoth site provides a clear look at the changes between the former founders packs and the new, cheaper ones.
The lawsuit is an expected result of Amazon's denial of FTC-issued requests to change its in-app purchase policies. To meet FTC guidelines, Amazon would need to add another layer of password protection and overhaul its refund policies in order to curb in-app purchases made by children without parental permission. In a recent letter to the FTC, Amazon noted that it prefers to "defend our approach in court," rather than change its policies.
The FTC's lawsuit seeks refunds for affected customers and a ban on unlimited purchases within Amazon apps. Apple issued more than $32.5 million in refunds to App Store customers following a similar FTC complaint earlier this year.
Throughout the week, Joystiq celebrates its tenth anniversary by revealing each writer's favorite - not "best" - games of the last decade. Aside from selecting a number one, each list is unordered.
For his number one selection, Community Manager Anthony John Agnello reminds us of a beloved RPG franchise from Square Enix that isn't a Final Fantasy.
Battlefest begins on July 12 with a two-day, double experience point bonus for all players. From there, EA will offer new content on a weekly basis, including free camo unlocks and Community Missions that force players to work together to reach a formidable goal. Assuming players complete the mission, everyone who logged into Battlefield 4 during the event will receive a free Gold Battlepack.
Finally, EA is launching a month-long stunt competition. If you've got awesome footage of ramping a motorbike off a pile of rubble into a helicopter like some poorly planned Die Hard sequel, send it in to EA. The top three most impressive clips will be awarded what EA calls, "a massive prize."
Before Techland properly introduces players to the dark fantasy world of Hellraid next year, developer Shortbreak Studios offers a tour of the world via the iOS puzzle game Hellraid: The Escape.
Officially described as a "visually stunning action-adventure mobile game," Hellraid: The Escape casts players as an amnesiac who's been locked in a cage by a sorcerer for reasons that aren't entirely clear. Like all the best cages, this one is guarded by demons, and our protagonist will have to explore his prison and solve puzzles in order to make the titular escape.
Hellraid: The Escape is available on the App Store at $2.99. It features no in-app purchases, but Shortbreak plans to release periodic, free content updates for the mobile game.
Unveiled by the Japanese Super Smash Bros. Twitter account, the above costume is a Yankee Doodle homage to the duds Mario is seen wearing on the cover of classic 8-bit golf game NES Open Tournament Golf. Though that is a wildly esoteric reference, it provides a nice contrast to Mario's staid red and blue overalls.
Why this image is appearing now and not, say, six days ago is a mystery.
Games are the largest category in the App Store, with 237,389 apps added in the past year, and 65,643 (21.7 percent) of those were removed voluntarily by developers or because they violated Apple's rules. In 2013, the App Store saw 453,902 new apps, and almost 15 percent of those were pulled. Books had the highest rate of pulled apps, at 27 percent, the company reports.
Adjust predicts the App Store will receive 578,000 new apps by July 1, 2015. More than 1.6 million apps have been uploaded to the App Store since its launch, and 350,000 (21.8 percent) have been pulled, adjust says.
EA Mobile head Frank Gibeau this week told GamesIndustry that EA didn't do a good job marketing the game or communicating to fans what they could expect from a new Dungeon Keeper.
"Brands ultimately have a certain amount of permission that you can make changes to, and I think we might have innovated too much or tried some different things that people just weren't ready for," Gibeau said. "Or, frankly, were not in tune with what the brand would have allowed us to do. We like the idea that you can bring back a brand at EA and express it in a new way. We've had some successes on that front, but in the case of Dungeon Keeper, that just didn't connect with an audience for a variety of reasons."
"The single biggest digital life category, measured in both time and money spent, in a mobile-first world is gaming," Nadella said. "We are fortunate to have Xbox in our family to go after this opportunity with unique and bold innovation. [...] Bottom line, we will continue to innovate and grow our fan base with Xbox while also creating additive business value for Microsoft."
"While today many people define mobile by devices, Microsoft defines it by experiences," Nadella continued. "We're really in the infant stages of the mobile-first world. In the next few years we will see many more new categories evolve and experiences emerge that span a variety of devices of all screen sizes. Microsoft will be on the forefront of this innovation with a particular focus on dual users and their needs across work and life."
Nadella additionally noted that Microsoft's gaming innovations will continue to inform and shape its productivity-focused technology, citing Skype speech recognition and the Kinect camera as crossover efforts benefiting both divisions.
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