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WRUP: A cup of cocoa

boston terrier in reindeer...
It's time to slow things down.

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Joystiq Deals: The Great Charger and Battery Roundup

Christmas is here, and it won't be long before you're rushing to find a charging cable or batteries for your newly delivered gadgets and goodies. Don't worry - Joystiq Deals has you covered.

If you're looking for a USB charge, you can pick up the four-outlet and dual-USB PowerCube Outlet Expander for $17.95, a 10 Ft. MFi-Certified iOS Lightning Cable for $18.99, and a 20,000mAh Dual USB Battery Pack for $34.99.

Need batteries? You can pick up 100 Duracell-branded AA batteries and 52 AAAs for $59.99. And if your iPhone needs a burst of style and battery power, we've got the Afterburner iPhone 6 Battery Case for $40. Happy holiday from Joystiq Deals!

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.

The five worst console games of 2014

2014 may have been the worst year yet for bad console games -- they're practically extinct at this point. Sure, many of this year's games were divisive, or flawed, or buggy, but few were outright terrible. Ballooning budgets force AAA games to maintain some degree of quality control (well, mostly), and even the indies have gotten their act together, producing modestly scoped, reasonably priced games that aren't all that upsetting even when they disappoint.

As a lover of trash, I'm troubled.

Fortunately, a few truly awful games rose to the top of the garbage heap to sparkle as gleaming, irredeemable turds. I'm glad to have played these games, but I think we, as an industry, can do better. Let's vow to release more bad games in 2015. And not just bad games for Duck Dynasty fans, either - let's make bad games that all of us can enjoy.

Latest EVE dev blog charts module rebalancing

EVE's forthcoming Proteus release will feature the second round of rebalancing work that CCP has termed Module Tiericide. Today's dev blog explains some of the changes courtesy of a sizable chart that shows stats like CPU usage, optimal range, powergrid usage, and more.

There are a lot of numbers to parse, but if you're into that sort of thing, CCP says that it will be collecting player feedback and acting on it prior to Proteus' January 13th launch date.

Chaos Reborn summons single-player mode

Chaos Reborn, the latest turn-based strategy game from original X-COM creator Julian Gollop, now has a single-player mode. The new mode allows human players to take on AI wizards, or to play "hotseat" with other players, or a combination of both humans and AI. The update also includes a number of balance tweaks, a new spell that let's you "summon a pack of mutant, giant rats" and, in the spirit of the season, special Christmas themed graphics. If you're in the festive mood, keep in mind that the Christmas graphics will only be available for a limited time.

On a recent live stream of Chaos Reborn with Joystiq, Gollop discussed plans for other single-player content as well, specifically what sounds like a fairly complex campaign. You can hear him discuss it, and watch him beat the tar out of Joystiq's Alexander Sliwinski, right here. Chaos Reborn is available via Steam Early Access now.

Gaming off the grid: Video game-inspired board games

If you're looking for family fun but don't want to stray too far from the video game franchises you know and love, tabletop gaming may be the perfect alternative for you this holiday season.

While there are countless (and not very entertaining) licensed board games available at big box retailers – like Mario-themed Monopoly or Halo-themed Risk – there are far better options available for those looking to further explore their favorite video game worlds.

Here is a collection of some of our favorite board and card games based on video game franchises. If you're looking for a fun activity for family and friends this holiday, you can't go wrong with these fantastic board and card games.

Joystiq Deals: Limited Edition Code Black Drone

Got some cash left over from your holiday shopping? Check out Joystiq Deals and you can be one of the first to own the Limited Edition Code Black Drone, an advanced craft capable of capturing HD video while airborne.

The Code Black Drone is small enough to fit in your palm, and its 6-axis flight control system ensures a smooth, stable flight for you and your family to enjoy. Retailing for $99, the Code Black Drone can be yours if you place an $89 pre-order through Joystiq Deals today.

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.

Elder Scrolls Online definitely coming to consoles in 2015

ZeniMax has posted a holiday greeting to Elder Scrolls Online fans that also promises a console launch for the fantasy MMO in 2015. "We've released five major updates and tons of improvements and fixes," the blurb reads. "Next year promises to be just as exciting as we introduce the Champion and Justice systems, launch on the PS4 and Xbox One, and continue to release new adventures for you to experience."

Deliver season's beatings via Killer Instinct Classic's new online multiplayer mode

If you get an Xbox One in your Christmas stocking this year (by the way, we need to have a chat about your monstrously huge fire hazard of a stocking), you'll soon have a new way of beating up on your faraway friends. Killer Instinct Classic will receive an online multiplayer mode as part of a free update launching tonight.

Released last year via Killer Instinct's digital Ultra Edition, Killer Instinct Classic is an emulated port of Rare's 1994 arcade one-on-one fighter. Tonight's update will introduce an online multiplayer option, along with several fixes and improvements for the core Killer Instinct game.

Another recent update unlocked holiday-themed costumes for Killer Instinct characters TJ Combo, Orchid and Sabrewulf. 'Tis the season.

[Image: Microsoft]

Federal court dismisses Wiimote patent case against Nintendo

Nintendo has prevailed in yet another patent lawsuit, this time against Texas company UltimatePointer LLC, regarding a case we first reported on in 2011. UltimatePointer asserted that Nintendo's Wiimote infringed on its patent for an "Easily Deployable Interactive Direct-Pointing System and Presentation Control System and Calibration Method Therefor." In a Seattle federal court, Judge Robert S. Lasnik ruled that the Wiimote does not infringe on UltimatePointer's patent and found that a number of the company's claims were invalid, meaning no trial is required.

Nintendo of America Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Richard Medway offered the following statement about the decision: "We are very pleased with these decisions, which confirmed Nintendo's position from the beginning – we do not, nor have we ever, infringed these patents. The result in this case, once again, demonstrates that Nintendo will continue to vigorously defend its innovations against patent lawsuits, even if it must do so in multiple courts and commit significant resources to defend itself. Nintendo continues to support reform efforts to reduce the unnecessary and inefficient burden patent cases like this one place on technology companies in the United States."

And now this one gets thrown in the "backlinks about Nintendo patent disputes" pile. Electronics company Philips recently won a dispute in the UK against Nintendo regarding the Wii and Wii U's use of a camera and motion-sensing technology. Nintendo plans to appeal the UK decision, and Philips has filed against Nintendo in the US as well.
[Image: Nintendo]

PSN Store Update: Alien Isolation, Diablo 3, more

In a last-ditch effort to get in your wallet before the end of the year, the PlayStation Store has a number of good deals on games this week. Among the many deals for PS4 players at the moment, Alien: Isolation is $35.99 ($29.99 for PS Plus members), while the game's season pass is down to $14.99. Additionally, Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition is $39.59 ($35.99 on PS Plus), Escape Goat 2 is half-price ($5, $4 on PS Plus), Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is just $6.80 and Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is $25 ($20 on PS Plus).

As for Vita, players can download Danganronpa 2 for $27.99 ($23.99 on PS Plus), Nidhogg for $10.49 ($8.99 through PS Plus), Thomas Was Alone and Stealth Inc. for $3.99 each as well as Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut for $5 ($4 via PS Plus). A number of games, such as Nidhogg and Thomas Was Alone, are Cross-Buy compatible, so those with multiple systems only need to pay once to access each version. That includes Flippfly's Race the Sun, which is down to $6.99 at the moment across all three PlayStation platforms ($5.99 on PS Plus). Head over to PlayStation Blog for a full list of the current deals.

Resident Evil HD pre-orders are cross-buy on PS4, PS3

In holiday spirit news, PlayStation pre-orders of the HD-ified Resident Evil will unlock the game on both PS4 and PS3. Capcom revealed North American users can pre-purchase the upcoming remaster on PSN now, and by doing so they'll get both the PS4 and PS3 versions. The publisher's confirmed to Polygon the cross-buy offer is only available for pre-orders.

If you're almost peckish for a remastered sandwich, you don't have much longer to wait. The $20 "definitive version" of Resi's 2002 remake hits PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on January 20, 2015, bringing back crazed canines, creaking doors and Barry Burtonisms in 1080p. If you fancy a bit of before-and-after, check out Capcom's comparison shots.
[Image: Capcom]

PlayStation Now hits Samsung Smart TVs in first half of 2015

Game-streaming service PlayStation Now is coming to select Samsung Smart TVs in the first half of 2015, meaning you'll be able to enjoy PS3 games without owning a Sony system or even a Sony TV. The Smart TV-based form of Sony's cloud-based service will roll out in the United States and Canada, according to this week's announcement.

Sony says Samsung Smart TVs will support "all functionality" of PlayStation Now, including trophies, cloud saves and online multiplayer.

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KOTOR finds the Androids you've been looking for

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, BioWare's beloved RPG, is now available on Android devices. To mark the occasion, developer Aspyr Media has slashed the usual $10 price in half (with a lightsaber, presumably). You can snag it from Google Play right now, so long as your device is up to snuff, of course.

Origin New Year's sale: Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Sims 4

Though all of the calendars here at Joystiq HQ still read "2014" digital retailer Origin is already ringing in the new year with discounts of up to 75 percent off a number of EA's recent and not so recent games.

The highlights of Origin's New Year's Sale include epic roleplaying adventure Dragon Age: Inquisition at $40, virtual life hit The Sims 4 at $30 and Battlefield 4 Premium Edition - that's the military shooter plus all of its downloadable additions - at $30. If you'd prefer to rifle through EA's back catalogue, you can find the Mass Effect Trilogy at $15 and the massive Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection, which includes 17 real-time strategy games, at $10. You'll find a full list of current discounts on the sale's Origin page.

If anything there catches your eye, you should probably buy it quickly. All of the discounts included in Origin's New Year's Sale disappear on December 27, at 8AM Pacific Time.


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 126: Dying Light, Bloodborne, Evolve, story in games

Latest episode: Friday, December 19th, 2014

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