| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Massively, and more
Top stories

Season 2 of The Walking Dead haunts Vita next week

While the Vita still lags behind its console and computer counterparts, fans of Telltale's critically beloved The Walking Dead won't have to wait much longer for the second season of the emotionally charged zombie adventure.

Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, The Walking Dead: Season 2 will make its Vita debut on April 22. To make up for the delayed release, Telltale has opted to launch both Episode 1 and Episode 2 of the new season simultaneously. Come April 22, both episodes will be available from the PlayStation Network Store at a price of $5, though if you plan to eventually play through all five planned episodes of Season 2, you'll find that the $15 Season Pass offers a 20 percent discount over purchasing each episode individually.

Additionally, Telltale has announced that The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season is now available on Android devices including the Nvidia Shield, Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Kindle HDX.

Don't just Watch Dogs, read about them in an upcoming eBook


When Ubisoft's highly-anticipated hacker adventure Watch Dogs debuts on May 27, it will be accompanied by a newly-announced eBook dubbed "Watch Dogs //n/Dark Clouds."

As that grammatically baffling title suggests, the book centers on the sort of near-future cyberpunk intrigue that fuels the plot in Watch Dogs. Storyline details are scant, but we do know that the novel follows ex-military operative Mick Wolfe as he becomes embroiled in the dangerous world of Chicago's underground hacker elite. It's currently unknown if Aiden Pierce, protagonist of the Watch Dogs video game, will feature in the novel, but given the promotional aims of this eBook, it seems likely that Mr. Pierce will show up somewhere in the text.

Sci-fi and fantasy author John Shirley has been tapped to pen the eBook. No stranger to genre adaptations, Shirley's previous efforts include novels based on Borderlands 2, BioShock and id Software's DOOM.

"Working on Watch Dogs was enormously interesting to me because its world offers the convergence of cyberpunk and the edgy tech reality of our times; it all plays out with action and energy against the inner city backdrop that I thrive in," Shirley said. "Working with Thomas Geffroyd and Kevin Shortt at Ubisoft to develop the book was a rocking experience - Ubisoft is right out there on the frontier of videogame development. I couldn't ask for more inspiration."
[Image: Ubisoft]

Continue Reading

Gran Turismo 6 GT Academy competition begins next week

Sony will launch its sixth annual GT Academy event next week, giving superior Gran Turismo 6 players the chance to put their skills to the test on a real-world racetrack.

As in previous years, GT Academy players compete to enroll in a three-month driver development program, with global champions earning a spot on Nissan's NISMO race team. Judges in Europe, North America, and Germany will each pick a single winning driver to enter the program, and this year marks the first time GT Academy qualifying events are available to players in Canada.

GT Academy online qualifying events will begin in-game on April 21.

[Image: Sony]

PSA: Terraria upgraded to version 1.2 on Xbox 360, PS3, Vita

As expected, the console versions of Re-Logic's 2D sandbox platformer Terraria have been updated to version 1.2 today. The update brings a large list of bug fixes as well as improved gameplay mechanics and graphical changes to the PS3, Xbox 360 and Vita versions, such as a brighter sun and darker midnight portions of the game. Version 1.2's change log is a "direct copy from the PC change log with console exclusive changes added to them," putting the console versions more on par with the PC game.

The game has found massive success for Re-Logic on all platforms, topping 1.3 million downloads on iOS and Android and one million downloads across Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita as of late March. It first launched on PC in May 2011 and just hit Vita in December. The game's creator, Andrew Spinks, discussed plans for a sequel to Terraria in October, noting that it wasn't in development at the time.
[Image: 505 Games]

Continue Reading

Secrets of Raetikon review: Learning to fly

In Secrets of Raetikon, from developer Broken Rules, you play as a bird. Really, that about sums up most of the experience. You soar through the air, riding the wind like a bird. You swoop and dive, snatching up teeny bunnies and fallen tree fruit like a bird. You collect shiny slivers, using them to activate ancient ruins and power up a massive, ominous device like a bird.

Okay, so maybe that last one is a bit of a stretch. Indiana Jones-esque tomb raiding aside, Secrets of Raetikon is a simple game with a simple premise: You are a bird. Go forth and do bird stuff. Just, you know, don't forget to dig up a long-lost civilization while you're at it.

Continue Reading

Joystiq Streams: Mercenary Kings reign on PS4 with Tribute Games [Update: It's over!]


The all-encompassing brolation that was the Broforce Joystiq Streams on Tuesday did not satisfy our hunger for sweet two-dimensional action. Indeed it only made the crew more ravenous for big cartoon sprites and twitchy gunplay in the grand tradition of Contra and Metal Slug. Feeding the beast within means that we must move onward to new shooter-y, platformer-y delights. Mercenary Kings on PlayStation 4 is our next destination and Tribute Games is coming along for the ride.

Joystiq Streams takes to the Mercenary Kings jungle on PS4 at 4PM EST on the Joystiq Twitch channel today. Jean-Francois Major, Tribute Games co-founder and one of the mad minds behind Mercenary Kings, joins Alexander Sliwinski, Anthony John Agnello, and Mike Suszek from the Joystiq posse for some loot stockpiling and CLAW blasting.

Joystiq Streams airs every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST.
[Images: Tribute Games]

Hands-on with Hearthstone for iPad

Hearthstone
While I was part of the early beta crowd for Hearthstone last year, I haven't played it in quite some time. It wasn't because I became disenfranchised with the game but rather because I felt it truly belonged on a tablet -- and playing it on a PC just felt wrong somehow. So I've been waiting for Hearthstone to finally make the leap to the iPad, and when that happened yesterday, I was all over it like a murloc swarm on a noobie.

In many ways, Hearthstone is absolutely tailor-fit for mobile gaming. It requires minimal manipulation; poking, holding, and the occasional swipe is about as complex as the physical mechanics get. It's a turn-based thinker's game that gives you ample time to plot your strategy and get a few other things done between moves. On an iPad, that's pretty easy; I would read a book while my opponent took his/her/its turn.

The game actually kept me up past my bedtime because of the "just one more match" temptation, which tells me that the magic that fueled my interest in this game in beta is roaring more now than ever. But how does it actually handle on Apple's devices?

Continue Reading

Halo composer Martin O'Donnell's music remains in Destiny after Bungie departure

After the surprise announcement that longtime Bungie composer Martin O'Donnell had been terminated, Joystiq confirmed with the studio's COO Pete Parsons that O'Donnell's music remains in Destiny. We were on hand at Bungie for a preview event, where Parsons told us, "Even the music you heard yesterday was from Marty and Mike Salvatori and C. Paul Johnson. All of their music is in." O'Donnell has collaborated with Michael Salvatori on the Halo series soundtrack for years, and more recently with Bungie sound designer and composer C. Paul Johnson.

Earlier this week, O'Donnell tweeted that Bungie's board of directors fired him "without cause" on April 11. Bungie community manager David Dague responded, saying O'Donnell and the studio parted "as friends," and wished him luck "in all his future endeavors." Later on the same day, Parsons addressed O'Donnell's departure, saying, "At Bungie, we don't take that kind of thing lightly. We don't make decisions lightly. We're a team that's committed to making an amazing game, set in an amazing universe."
[Image: Activision]

Greninja, Charizard fight it out in new Super Smash Bros. screens

Following up on a recent Nintendo Direct feature, Nintendo has released a new set of Super Smash Bros. screenshots showcasing Sheik, Yoshi and Zero Suit Samus alongside newly announced Pokemon challengers Greninja and Charizard.

Nintendo outlined its plans for online play in Super Smash Bros. earlier this month, revealing that gameplay will be split between casual-focused "For Fun" and tournament-styled "For Glory" modes. Nintendo also announced that the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. will feature a new dungeon-diving Smash Mode that replaces the Wii U's traditional Adventure Mode.

Super Smash Bros. will launch for the Nintendo 3DS this summer. A Wii U release will follow in the winter.

[Image: Nintendo]

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 won't swing onto Xbox One at launch


With only a couple of weeks before the launch of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 across ... like, every platform, the Xbox One will be a notable exception. Activision has postponed the launch of the game on Microsoft's console, but isn't sharing any details as to why.

"We are working with Microsoft in an effort to release The Amazing Spider-Man 2 video game on Xbox One," the publisher informed Joystiq in a statement. "Currently, the game will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and the PC on April 29, 2014 as previously announced."

There's no timetable on when Peter will parker himself on Xbox One.

Gods will be patched with Age of Wonders 3 v1.09

The first official patch for Age of Wonders 3 is live. Version 1.09 of Triumph Studios' recent release corrects hardware-specific issues, registration problems, optimizes game performance and tweaks AI behavior as well as adding critical balance fixes to the game.

Based on feedback, the developer has also added a few other features, such as an option for quick saving and native high resolution support up to 2560x1440 / 2560x1600. The patch is available as an automatic download via Steam or as a separate file via GOG.com.

Age of Wonders 3 is a strategic role-playing game Joystiq's Earnest Cavalli called "as glorious a resurrection as the series could have hoped for," in his glowing review.

Age of Wonders 3 v1.09 change log can be found after the break.
[Image: Triumph Studios]

Continue Reading

Joystiq Discussion: When and why do you pay to skip ahead?


Joystiq's own Xav de Matos recently presented the crew with an all-too-familiar scenario: "My sister plays Candy Crush and couldn't beat a level," Xav told us, lamenting what today's youth has come to. "She paid real money to skip the stage. I told her she was the problem and yelled at her on everyone's behalf."

But there was no consensus amongst the staff! Some thought paying to skip challenges in games was the worst sort of design. Others thought that paying to skip chunks, whether in light games like Candy Crush Saga or heavier fare like Professor Layton, should come with penalties, such as perhaps blocking you from playing some content later on. Some even argued that plunking down cold hard cash for progress should get you other bonuses, like unlocking other cheats, to justify the cost. As it is with the entire gaming world, we're still trying to figure out how paying to play without needing to do the play part should work in quality game design - if it should work at all.

As we're wont to do, we're asking you to weigh in on the subject as well. Share your thoughts on paying for progress by answering these questions in the comments:

1) Why would you pay to skip parts of a game?

2) How should paying to skip affect the rest of the game, i.e. added penalties or bonuses?

3) What encourages you not to skip content?

Bonus: DId anyone out there pay to skip the boss pictured above? How did you do it?
[Image: Square-Enix via Game Informer]

Disney Infinity 2.0 arrives this August with Marvel heroes [Update]

Update: D23 has since posted a correction, noting it "erroneously reported about the launch of the next chapter of Disney Infinity" and that the information it provided was incorrect. It added that further information on the future of the series will be revealed on April 30.

Original story:

Disney Infinity 2.0 is slated to launch this August, according to a since-removed snippet from Disney's official fan club site, D23. While the D23 blog entry in question is still available to view, a cached version of it notes that the Disney Infinity follow-up "is coming in August 2014, and a teaser trailer can be viewed at Marvel.com," likely referencing the teaser posted by Marvel earlier this month.

"The teaser promises such Marvel-ous additions to the game as familiar Marvel characters, objects, and vehicles-the possibilities are infinite," the site continued. The previous sandbox-style adventure game from Avalanche Software did wonders for Disney Interactive, driving its revenue to $403 million in the first fiscal quarter of 2014. The company also saw losses in Q2 2013 and Q3 2013 to the tune of $54 million and $58 million, respectively. That led to layoffs in its games and Internet divisions in March that numbered 700, at which point Disney said it plans to scale back annual game output "by as much as 50 percent."

We've reached out to Disney to confirm the release window for Disney Infinity 2.0 and will update as we learn more.
[Image: Disney]

'Stiq Tips: A Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn starter guide


Any MMO can be daunting if you go in blind. Although Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn isn't nearly as hardcore as FFXI, it still has a few snags that newcomers can hit if you aren't careful. Since many of you will be jumping in for the first time with the PlayStation 4, I've compiled some tips to help you ease into the process.

First, understand that when creating a character, your race doesn't matter all that much. Yes, you can definitely do your research if you want to min-max and get that extra half a percentage of efficiency for your favorite class, but as a general rule the game is designed around the class system, so don't freak out when you're making your first step into the creation process.

Having said that, the game is also designed to accommodate one character -- no alternates (alts) needed. What I mean by that is one character can simply switch classes, start from level one, and go all the way up to the maximum of 50 at any time (once you've unlocked the ability in the main story). Say you're a Lancer; all you need to do to become an axe-wielding Marauder is visit the Marauder's guild in its major city, talk to the guildmaster, get your first axe, and equip it. Boom -- you've switched classes.

This encourages you to play the entire Realm Reborn experience with one main, in addition to full access to freely explore other classes and earn some select "cross-class" abilities to bring back to your other jobs. The other neat thing is that the game keeps the level of your highest class in mind, and gives you an experience bonus proportional to what level you are with your new class -- so experiment away!

Continue Reading

'Every Action Counts' in space shooter Galak-Z

Image In Galak-Z, every action counts! Why? Because in 17-BIT's upcoming PC, Vita and PS4 "roguelike spaceship shooter," death hits the reset button on your progress. Can you help maintain the exemplary 34% success rate? Find out this fall. [Image: 17-BIT]... Continue Reading

Curses 'N Chaos waves in reveal trailer


Mercenary Kings developer Tribute Games showed off its new game, Curses 'n Chaos at PAX East this past weekend, but if you weren't lucky enough to see it then, here's what it looks like.

Yup, what you see is pretty much the deal. It's an extremely minimalistic 2D action game where players survive wave after wave of baddies, collecting coins and special power-ups to survive whatever monster pops in from the periphery of the screen. Survive the horde mode this fall.

Nintendo turned down Skylanders exclusivity deal

Nintendo reportedly turned down a deal that would have launched Activision's highly successful toys-come-to-life series Skylanders exclusively for the Wii. A report from Polygon on the Toys for Bob franchise notes that, despite Activision's confidence in the product, it was looking for a partner to spread the risks of the venture.

"[Nintendo] spent a long time looking and looking," Toys for Bob co-founder Paul Reiche said. "They were just like 'we have never seen anything like this before.' I've always wondered about the full meaning of that comment [laughs]." Nintendo opted out of making a full commitment to the project, though the two companies did enter a co-marketing agreement for the series. "Clearly, they have got properties well suited to this world," Reiche added. "Why it is that they didn't rush in here will probably haunt them for the rest of their days."

Activision's Skylander series has since surpassed $2 billion in sales worldwide. The franchise has found its way to ten different platforms, including the recently launched Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Though Nintendo would later experiment with a similar game in the disappointing Pokemon Rumble, it would be Disney that would eventually invest in the genre with its Disney Infinity series, leveraging the company's multitude of popular characters.

"Nintendo could have kicked Disney's ass," Reiche said. "If I was running Nintendo I would have jumped on this."
[Image: Activision]

PlayStation Now-capable Bravia TVs launching in June

Sony has announced that its upcoming series of PlayStation Now-compatible 4K "Ultra HD" Bravia televisions, first revealed at CES 2014, will launch in June. A total of nine models from three series will hit the market with prices ranging from a $2,099 (49") to $24,999 (85").

With the ability to access Sony's upcoming PlayStation Now service, the Bravia sets will be able to stream PS3 games and play with a DualShock 3 controller (which, for the price, you'd hope would be included, but Sony's press release doesn't specify). The foundation for PlayStation Now is Gaikai, the games streaming service Sony purchased for $380 million in 2012.

Sony is one of many television manufacturers that continues to push HD technology into the 4K future. Ultra HD 4K televisions (also simply known as UHD TV) claim to deliver four times the picture resolution of standard 1080p sets; 4K televisions increase pixel count per image from two million to eight million.

"We strongly believe 4K is the future for entertainment and we remain committed to leading the 4K movement, from lens to living room, in a way that only a company like Sony can," said Mike Fasulo, president at Sony Electronics.

Japan gets Niconico PS4 streaming on April 30

PlayStation 4 owners in Japan will have the option to stream gameplay to Niconico, a site that lets users upload, view and share video clips, starting April 30, Sony announced (as translated by Gematsu). Those visiting the Nico Nico Super Conference 3 on April 26 and April 27 will be able to test the streaming functionality in person before it arrives via firmware update. While the two updates may not be related, the upcoming 1.70 firmware for the console brings the ability to save videos and screenshots to a USB drive.

The PS4 launched in Japan in February, selling 322,083 units in its opening weekend. According to a translation of the Niconico's website, it will begin offering free one-month trials for PS4 users shortly. The streaming service carries a monthly fee of about $5; it is unclear if the service will require a PlayStation Plus subscription as well.
[Image: Sony]

Watch Firaxis boldly bring Civilization to space from PAX East



Missed the PAX East panel that revealed Civilization: Beyond Earth to the world? Maybe you just want to relive the magic you already witnessed live in Boston? Firaxis has you covered either way, uploading its panel from the show, complete with a peek at the future of the Sid Meier series.

Civilization: Beyond Earth takes the addictive franchise into space this fall, though the developer has some experience with space exploration. The developer's decision to boldly go into space allows its designers and artists to free themselves from a "historical context," Firaxis designer and programmer Anton Strenger told Joystiq at PAX East.

"We, as designers, were free to come up with really fun new gameplay systems that didn't really make sense in a more historical game, or even like a fantasy game." In Beyond Earth, Strenger said for example, players may launch satellites over a planet, influencing the events below.
[Image: Firaxis]

What's In A Name

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/10/31/whats-in-a-name-red-barrels/

More →


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast Special: PAX East 2014 with Capy and Wadjet Eye

Latest episode: Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Facebook Activity

Engadget

Engadget

TUAW

TUAW

Massively

Massively

WoW

WoW