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Dark Souls 2 'Crown of the Sunken King' review: Lost and crowned

After losing days to just navigating Lordran, I understood the switch to more linear pathways in Dark Souls 2. Still, I missed getting truly lost in the first game's open world. It was a labyrinthine mess that coiled in on itself in the most confusing ways, and it added another layer to an already oppressive game. The world itself was against you in Dark Souls, and it magnified those feelings of dread, challenge and, eventually, satisfaction.

It's great to see Crown of the Sunken King, the first Dark Souls 2 DLC expansion, is closer to the first game's mazey madness, albeit in a more conscise form. Its rocky inclines and crumbling chambers don't so much twist and turn as gently lead you astray, and the interconnections are more foreshadowed. It makes sense for the DLC's scope; it takes five hours to find and defeat the final boss, and that's even if you lose your way a few times.

All the same, in its stone-cold heart of hearts, Sunken King is just more Dark Souls 2, albeit inevitably tougher. There are a few new enemies - some total bastards - while others are more reworked and re-skinned, but generally the higher difficulty comes from placement and numbers.

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Disney Infinity 2.0 hits North America on September 23.0

The Marvel-stuffed Disney Infinity 2.0 is officially hitting North America's store shelves on September 23, a date that's been rumored for a while. We've confirmed with Disney the release date applies to the PS4, Xbox One. Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the sequel.

Disney also confirmed the pre-order program GameStop's been advertising, which bundles in an extra $14-value Disney Infinity 2.0 figure, is available at "top retailers nationwide." We reached out to Disney to find out the figures are available in the promo - UK retailer GAME says players can choose between Nick Fury, Hawkeye and Iron Fist.

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Akiba's Trip 2 brings the full monty, including PS4, to North America


Akiba's Trip 2 AKA the helpfully named Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed is confirmed for PS4 in North America. Acquire's action-RPG leaves its hat on the PS4 sometime this holiday season, after arriving on PS3 and Vita on August 12.

One of this year's more intellectual games, Akiba's Trip 2 tasks you with taking the clothes off vampire-like enemies terrorizing Tokyo. Because you want to shine sunlight onto their vampiric skin, of course. There's no other motivation than that, as the above NSFW trailer clearly shows.
[Image: XSEED]

Final Fantasy's Tetsuya Nomura envisions a new Batman

Square Enix unveiled a new Play Arts Kai statue that provides a glimpse of what a Batman game might look like in the hands of Tetsuya Nomura. The figure is one of a new Batman line dreamed up by the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts designer, and it's on display at the San Diego Comic Con, which kicks off today.

The word that springs to mind for us is sharp, literally. The cape looks sharp, the horn-like ears look sharp, the additional claw things look sharp - generally the caped crusader looks dangerous to even touch. The most surprising aspect? We can only see the one belt.

Check out a larger shot of the very dark knight below the break. If you prefer your Batmen more 8-bit and purpley-blue (who doesn't?), take a gander here.

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PlayStation 4 gets 3D Blu-ray support next week

Sony revealed 3D Blu-Ray support is coming to PlayStation 4, the announcement arriving just days after Microsoft confirmed the same thing for Xbox One. Whether it's a response by Sony, a coincidence or something else entirely, what's important is both PS4 and Xbox One owners get to watch all those lovely Frozen snowflakes right up close.

The PS4's 1.75 firmware arrives next week, while the Xbox One update - which introduces a few other features - is pinned for sometime in August.

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Jazzy noir stealth game, Third Eye Crime, lands on Steam

Third Eye Crime has jumped from mobile devices to Steam, available on PC for $5. Third Eye Crime is a jazzy, telepathic stealth game where you play as a criminal who is able to predict where enemies will move as they attempt to capture or stop your ne'er-do-welling. Players are able to lay traps and plant false leads in a top-down world.

Third Eye Crime has three acts, eight environments and more than 120 levels. The game comes from Moonshot Games, a team of former AAA and Bungie developers, and it launched on iOS earlier this year. Moonshot started work on Third Eye Crime last year, after funding for a download-only console shooter, Fallen Frontier, fell through.
[Image: Moonshot Games]

Not even spies suspect a thing when Octodad goes to a party

Image Don't blame the sniper in Short-Lived Heroes' YouTube vid "OctoParty: Dadliest Spy" - a mash-up of Octodad and SpyParty - for having trouble spotting the undercover agent slinking through the crowd of partygoers; after all, the sneaky cephalopod slipped by us at E3, too. [Image: Short-Lived... Continue Reading

The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection free through Origin this week

After recently ending official support for the PC version of 2004's The Sims 2, Electronic Arts is now offering all Origin users a copy of The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection for free, through the end of the month.

Users can redeem the expansion-bundled freebie by entering the code "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" after choosing "Redeem Product Code" from the Games tab after firing up the Origin front-end. Downloads will remain available through July 31st at 10 a.m. PDT, so act fast if you want to add the classic human-torment simulator to your Origin library.

[Image: EA Maxis]

Gods will be launching tomorrow, prepare with trailer



And on the twenty-third day of July, lo did publisher Devolver Digital bestow upon the world a new trailer for Deconstructeam's point-and-be-sad-click game, Gods Will Be Watching. And thus did Joystiq readers weep, for they knew the many feels the game would bring on the morrow, when it releases in both standard and collector's editions.

And those that did not know of Gods Will Be Watching, they saw that Joystiq did stream the game with developer Jordi de Paco, and thus knew that they could learn more about the game. Which, again, tells quite the sad tale. Seriously.
[Image: Devolver Digital]

Hohokum launch trailer is just the right amount of weird


The arrival of Honeyslug's cheerful Hohokum is mere weeks away, and it's still impossible to classify. The game received a new trailer to celebrate its August 12 launch date (August 13 in Europe), showing the meditating hermit-like star of the game in addition to the squiggly, flying worm that players control.

Devised by artist Richard Hogg, Hohokum became a 2011 IGF finalist before Sony Santa Monica began working with the Hogg and Honeyslug in May 2013 to bring the game to PlayStation platforms. It will be Cross-Buy-enabled as well, so the $14.99 price will give players access to the PS4, PS3 and Vita versions.

Hohokum is part of the PlayStation Store Play event Sony announced just yesterday, in which players that pick up four games in August will receive $10 of in-store credit. Additionally, pre-orders for the four games are 20 percent off each for PlayStation Plus members. Joining Hohokum in the deal are Rogue Legacy, The Swapper and CounterSpy.
[Image: Sony]

Updated Steam Controller adds an analog stick

Ah, there it is. A new version of Valve's Steam Controller includes an analog stick on the left-hand side, replacing a series of four directional buttons previously in its place. The new controller design still has two circular track pads, four lettered buttons, bumpers and triggers, among other features included in previous iterations.

The new design shows up in the latest Steam client beta, as spotted by SteamDB and on the Facepunch forums (via Engadget).

We've tried out previous Steam Controllers in the wild, and found the latest version to be functional but awkward: "It's impressive that the Steam Controller can bounce between styles as disparate as 2D adventure and first-person puzzling, and its touch pads could become second nature over time, but it's definitely not going to provide a seamless transition from traditional controllers, at least not in its current state," our reviewer, Richard Mitchell, said.
[Image: Valve]

Postcards from WildStar: See you, space cowboy

Welcome to Postcards from WildStar, a look at Carbine's new MMO. This is our final set of impressions, so be sure to check up on our previous postcards, and we hope you enjoyed the series!
Well, here we are, friends. End of the Postcards from WildStar line. You've met my purple-haired, green-eyed defender of the forest, and tagged along as she fought her way through Dominion foes and savage beasts. You've been welcomed into her home and watched in horror as she died – often – in WildStar's PvP. Though to be fair, the "horror" part might just have been me. (I'm not very good at PvP!)

MMOs are monstrous beasts and massive undertakings. They require a significant time commitment and sometimes month-to-month monetary compensation. The goal with these postcards has been not to give a finalized review, but to offer thoughts and impressions on the many aspects of Carbine's entry in the genre. Having poked and probed around for nearly two months now, I'm ready to wrap things up and give a summary conclusion. Read on to see where I place WildStar in the annals of MMO history.

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Destiny Beta roundtable breakdown with the Joystiq staff


We've had a lot of time with the Destiny Beta and now it's time to talk about it. The Joystiq staff got together this afternoon to discuss the deep details from the beta and answer questions from viewers. So, pour yourself a tall glass of glimmer and join us for a spell.

Buy Secret Ponchos on Steam, give another to a friend

Spaghetti western shooter Secret Ponchos is best enjoyed with a friend Lady and the Tramp-style, like a plate of pasta. While you won't need to do any smooching with your bestie, those playing the game on Steam can now show a little love by gifting a copy to one friend.

The "Secret Ponchos Double Down" promotion grants all buyers an extra Steam code, providing they pick the game up before August 5. The game arrived on Steam in mid-June via Early Access, and is currently available for $14.99. Whether you buy a copy for yourself or are the recipient of one of the free codes, you'll have access to the full version of the game when it arrives later this year. While there's no set release date for Secret Ponchos, it is expected to launch in full on both PC and PS4 this fall.
[Image: Switchblade Monkeys]

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Uncharted movie to reach theaters on June 10, 2016

Uncharted hero Nathan Drake will officially make his silver screen debut on June 10, 2016, according to Sony Pictures.

According to Deadline, that release date was originally earmarked for The Amazing Spider-Man 3, but the studio has decided to delay that film to 2018. "June 10 is a great date for Uncharted," said Doug Belgrad, president of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group. "It's just the right place for this exciting action-adventure film." Despite this newly-revealed launch date, the Uncharted film has yet to cast an actor for the role of Nathan Drake, though Deadline believes Sony is once again trying to persuade Mark Wahlberg to sign on.

As we reported earlier this year, King of Kong director Seth Gordon has been tapped to helm the adaptation, though, knowing Hollywood, there's still plenty of time for that to change.
[Image: Sony]

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 105: Wildstar, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Wolf Among Us, GaymerX2

Latest episode: Friday, July 18th, 2014

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