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PSA: Destiny's Vault of Glass open for raiding

Once I had Destiny and it was a gas, soon turned out had a Vault of Glass. 80s flashbacks aside, the Vault of Glass raid is live in Bungie's shooter as of this morning, meaning teams of six players can take on what the studio says is "the most elaborate mission" it's ever created.

Bungie recommends you're level 26 or more before taking on the Venusian Vault; "while you may be able to access the raid before you reach Level 26, such acts would be very foolish," says the dev. You'll need to have a team of friends as raids don't support matchmaking, and Bungie warns it's unlikely you'll complete the mission in one go, so be prepared to progress in portions. While you can enter the vault at any time, if you do take a break during the raid your party has a one week limit to resume the mission, and you have follow the same team leader back into the vault.

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Buddy up with Divinity: Original Sin's two new companions

New DLC for Divinity: Original Sin is available now for free, giving players two new companions to recruit into their heroic entourage. The duo are ranger Bairdotr (left) and mute rogue Wolgraff (right), and you can access them by downloading the DLC on Steam or updating the game on GOG, and then starting a new game from scratch.

Larian describes Bairdotr as a curious and loyal archer who's on a quest to safely return the kidnapped druid of the Homeforest. As for Wolgraff, he's not so altruistic: "Dark Sourcery deprived Wolgraff of his voice when he was but a kid, and with it his dream of becoming a Source Hunter. Refused by the Order, he grew up to become a rogue, stealing from the rich and giving to... just himself actually."

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Super Smash Bros. 3DS tops a million during first week in Japan

Everyone's doing the Smash in Japan, where Nintendo's brand-spanning brawler is past one million sales just on 3DS. After launching Super Smash Bros for the handheld on September 13, Nintendo announced sales (including download ones) surpassed the seven-figure mark during the game's first week on retail shelves. According to Nintendo, the other 3DS games to achieve the same feat are Pokemon X and Y, Monster Hunter 4 and Yokai Watch 2.

Not that it's been the smoothest launch ever, though. First there were the leaks of the roster ahead of time, then Nintendo had to apologize after mistakenly banning players who'd fallen foul of a bug. Still, it looks like a strong start for Smash 3DS ahead of its Western launch on October 3, which'll followed by the Wii U version sometime this holiday.
[Image: Nintendo]

Humble Flash Bundle serves up shooters, Store launches summer sale

Humble Bundle's network offers all sorts of deals this week, with a new shooter-focused Humble Flash Bundle accompanying a series of discounts at the Humble Store.

Today's 24-hour Humble Flash Bundle features pay-what-you-want copies of Boss Baddie's procedurally generated side-scroller Really Big Sky and Studio Evil's Amiga-inspired Syder Arcade, along with Danmaku Unlimited 2 and Aqua Kitty for buyers who beat the bundle's average purchase price. Pay $7 or more for the package and you'll also get Yotsubane's recently released vertical shooter Crimzon Clover: World Ignition.

The Humble Store delivers its own collection of bargains this week, including Hitman: Absolution for $4.99, Goat Simulator for $5.99, Octodad: Dadliest Catch for $4.99, and Proteus for $1.99. New flash sales are introduced daily, and all listed prices are effective through September 22.

[Image: Yotsubane]

Disney Infinity's Toy Box 2.0 offered as standalone download

When Disney formally unveiled Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes in April, the publisher announced that the power discs and base from the first game would be compatible with the one slated to arrive next week. Instead of buying a starter pack for Disney Infinity 2.0 with a new base, returning players will have the option to download the new game's Toy Box mode separately starting on November 4.

The Toy Box mode has improved since the first game, offering options for procedurally generated content and themed templates.

Priced at $19.99, the standalone Disney Infinity Toy Box 2.0 game will be available for PS4, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U players. The developer opted for a November release date to time the digital launch with its physical 2.0 Edition Play Sets as well as the game's Disney Originals series. North American players that download Toy Box 2.0 will receive both the Stitch's Tropical Rescue and Brave Forest Siege game discs for free, with details on the limited-time offer on the way from Disney Interactive as November approaches. Disney Infinity 2.0 launches September 23 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U.

A peak at one of Monument Valley's new levels

Yes, that is a pun in the headline. Thank you for noticing.

Monument Valley is getting new "lost scenes" designed to double the average gameplay time of 90 minutes, and this is one of those levels. Well, it's part of one of those levels, as this one appears to be fairly grand. Developer ustwo shared the photo on Twitter (view it in full below).

There's no word on a launch window for the new levels. Monument Valley recouped its cost of development in one week, reached 1 million sales in four months and won an Apple Design Award since launching in April.

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Far Cry 4 trailer weaponizes the mighty elephant

Image This is either a new trailer for Far Cry 4, or it's the entry for "elephants" found in the actual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.... Continue Reading

Elder Scrolls ups VR cap, adds upper Craglorn and more

Did you know that Elder Scrolls Online's fourth major content patch came out today? It sure did, and judging by the 1.4.3 notes it's a biggun.

ZeniMax has added the upper region of Craglorn and a new trial called Sanctum Ophidia. The four-player Dragonstar Arena with its 10 stages of monsters is live, too, along with a VR level cap bump to 14. That's not all, so click the links below to read about the additional changes.

Left 4 Dead 2 now uncensored on Steam in Australia, 75% off

Australian residents age 18 or older are able to play the uncensored version of Left 4 Dead 2, after the R18+ classification for the game sprouted up earlier this month. Those with a censored copy of the game in Australia will be able to apply a free update to the game to upgrade to the bloodier original version on Steam. What's more, Left 4 Dead 2 is currently 75 percent off across all regions it is available ($4.99, £3.74, €4.99) until next Monday, September 22. Left 4 Dead 2 first launched in November 2009 as the sequel to Valve's multiplayer zombie shooter.

The R18+ rating in Australia has been in the works for years, and created guidelines under the premise that certain types of graphic content are more impactful in video games than in films. The first game published under the restricted classification in the region was Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge's in January 2013. Deep Silver opted to re-work Saints Row 4 to meet Australia's MA15+ rating in August 2013.
[Image: Valve]

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Joystiq Deals: Mobile game dev training, Steam week-long sale

The School of Interactive Design offers a comprehensive training plan for up-and-coming mobile game developers through Joystiq Deals this week, bundling eight professional-quality courses for only $99.99. No prior coding experience is required, and you can produce playable results in just a few hours after starting the program. The course covers game development for iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac and PC platforms, so if you've ever wanted to make your own game, this is a great place to start.

PC gamers, meanwhile, can pick up a collection of cheap games on Steam this week, including Crimzon Clover: World Ignition for $7.49, Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut for $5.99, Avadon: The Black Fortress for $1.99, and Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition for $1.49. The sale also features several games priced at under $1, including Two Worlds, Desert Gunner, and Postal. Sale prices are effective through next Monday.
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.

Hearthstone is a 20 million-player game of cards

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has dealt in 20 million players around the world, the game's official Twitter account announced today. The tweet reads, "Thank you all for joining us in #Hearthstone! We're going to need a bigger tavern!"

Hearthstone is Blizzard's free, strategy card game based on Warcraft lore for PC, Mac, iPad and Windows 8 Touch devices. Android and iPhone versions of the game are due out before the end of the year, Lead Designer Eric Dodds told Joystiq at PAX Prime.

Japanese Super Smash Bros. players mistakenly banned for using Peach online

Princess Peach fans in Japan got a rude surprise this week, as Nintendo mistakenly banned a swath of Super Smash Bros. 3DS players due to purported cheating, Kotaku reports.

The ban affects players who used Princess Peach in Super Smash Bros' "For Glory" online multiplayer mode, which forbids item use during matches. Due to a bug, however, Princess Peach is able to pluck turnips and throw them at opponents, circumventing the restriction. Nintendo subsequently banned a large number of Princess Peach players from using the game's online features after the bug was discovered, regardless of whether they used the cheat or not.

The bans are temporary, but many were handed out mistakenly, leading Nintendo to issue an apology afterward. Nintendo is currently working on a fix for the issue, and a patch should be ready by next week.

[Image: Nintendo]

PSA: Today's Destiny update causes interruptions

Destiny is getting an update today, meaning players may see the above alert in their games. This warning popped up for us on PSN while our ship was in orbit. Bungie.net offers the following message: "Pardon our dust! Destiny is being updated. You will be returned to the title screen to install a title update and will be able to continue playing afterwards."

With the game running in the background, we also received a message to exit Destiny and apply the update, and for more information to search "cat" on Bungie.net. The cat error means there's an update ready to roll.

See our ongoing review of Destiny's online functions in the State of Service series.

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Xbox chief: Minecraft will continue on PlayStation, mobile


When word spread last week that Microsoft was considering a purchase of Mojang and its gaming titan Minecraft, fans were concerned about the game's future. Would Minecraft become an Xbox exclusive? Would it be locked to Windows Phones going forward? In a video discussing the acquisition, Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that Microsoft would continue to help develop Minecraft on all the platforms that made it a $2.5 billion brand in the first place.

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Chivalry: Medieval Warfare dashing onto consoles

The knightly carnage of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is coming to PS3 and Xbox 360 later this year, with Activision on publishing duties. Torn Banner's melee-heavy multiplayer game is set for the consoles' digital storefronts, but prices and release dates are yet to be announced.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare passed two million units sold in July 2014, which isn't bad for a game that started life as a Half-Life 2 total conversion mod. Back in 2007, Age of Chivalry thrust pikes, clubs and bows into the hands of its Middle Ages warriors, and its first-person, close-combat multiplayer proved a hit. Realizing it was onto a winner, Torn Banner Studios followed it up with the Unreal Engine-based Chivalry: Medieval Warfare which, following a successful $86,000 Kickstarter campaign, made its debut on Steam in 2012.

The two consoles may not be the only platforms welcoming the game in the near future, with Torn Banner seemingly teasing Mac and Linux ports "soon." That or penguin paladin DLC. Also, head below the break for a rather brutal new trailer.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

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

Latest episode: Friday, September 12th, 2014

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