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Tropico 5 delayed on PS4, now arriving in 'early 2015'

Despite prior word that Tropico 5 would reach the PlayStation 4 during 2014, a new announcement from publisher Kalypso Media bumps the banana republic simulation to "early 2015." Kalyspo offers no explanation for the PlayStation 4 delay, but does note that the Xbox 360 version of Tropico 5, which has long been scheduled for a November 2014 release, has not been delayed.

In more positive news, the aforementioned message issued by Kalypso announces the launch of both Mac and SteamOS versions of Tropico 5. "Starting today, Mac & SteamOS users can now visit the island paradise of Tropico in the award-winning dictator sim," the announcement states. Those suddenly interested in picking up a copy of Tropico 5 can find the game either on the Mac App Store or Steam.
[Image: Kalypso Media]

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Bandai Namco TGS pics? Yeah, when Dark Souls 2 freezes over

The third and final round of Dark Souls 2 DLC, Crown of the Ivory King, is a blustery romp through a frozen kingdom, complete with snow and giant ice beasts. Bandai Namco has dumped a lineup of screenshots from Tokyo Game Show on us, including images for Tales of Hearts R, Tales of Zestiria, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 and those Dark Souls 2 shots. See them all in the galleries below.

Also check out our reviews of Dark Souls 2 and its first bit of DLC, Crown of the Sunken King.

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Joystiq Deals: LithiumCard portable battery pack

This edition of Joystiq Deals features the LithiumCard Portable HyperCharger, a battery pack aimed squarely at those who would like to recharge their gadgets on the go, but who don't have the space to tote around a bulky box full of electrical energy.

At 3.1 inches by 2.2 inches and as thick as five credit cards, the LithiumCard is smaller than an iPhone 5 but boasts the ability to rapidly charge devices at up to one percent of their capacity per minute. It connects to gadgets either via USB or Apple's Lightning specification and the LithiumCard can charge other devices while it too is pulling in juice from the nearest electrical outlet.

Normally the LithiumCard Portable HyperCharger would set you back $55, but for the next two days, anyone who orders the charger through Joystiq Deals will see a 27 percent discount, reducing the LithiumCard's price to $40. For full details please visit the Joystiq Deals website.
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.

Hohokum dev's latest boasts llamas that go boom

Super Exploding Zoo is a game that developer Honeyslug describes as a "arcade-y tower defense-y explode-em-up," though most players will simply know it as "that game where explosive llamas stop an alien invasion."

"That old family favorite, the Super Exploding Zoo, is under attack from evil aliens who've come to devour all the lovely, tasty animal eggs," reads the developer's brief story synopsis. Since humanity is useless in the face of alien invasion, it's up to a squad of militant animals to fight off the omelette-loving extraterrestrials. Some critters feature their own unique abilities – the crocodile can ford rivers while the meerkat can dig – but regardless of which critters you lead into combat, gameplay in Super Exploding Zoo boils down to a war of attrition against increasingly lethal waves of alien invaders. Helpfully, Honeyslug mixes things up a bit with the addition of puzzle stages and online multiplayer gameplay.

Super Exploding Zoo is slated to appear on the PlayStation 4 and Vita handheld where it will feature cross-play functionality. Honeyslug has yet to reveal a release date for either version of the game.
[Image: Honeyslug]

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax heads to Europe courtesy of Sega

It's been up in the air, but Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is confirmed now to be coming to Europe and other EMEA territories. Sega revealed it's publishing the follow-up fighter in November, with retail and downloadable versions on the way for PS3 and Xbox 360.

Atlus is bringing Ultimax to the Americas on September 30 without region-locking, in contrast to the controversial decision to region-lock the first Persona 4 Arena. That decision caught more attention when the game was delayed by nine months in Europe. Distributor Zen United has since returned the P4A digital rights to Atlus.

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Harmonix announces closure of moribund Rock Band Network

Despite a nearly half-decade-long run, developer Harmonix has made the decision to shutter the Rock Band Network, effective immediately.

As a showcase for Rock Band Network authors to share their music with potential fans, the Rock Band Network eventually grew to include 2,121 downloadable songs. When you include the Rock Band Network alongside the series' official DLC tunes, the total Rock Band series tracklist comes to a staggering 4,221 songs.

Despite its impressive utility, in the end the Rock Band Network was laid low by mounting technical problems. "Some of those problems were server side here at Harmonix, while others were entirely outside of our control," reads the developer's official announcement. "At this point, with Harmonix resources devoted to several other titles in development, we're no longer able to operate RBN with the kind of consistency that it deserves."

Edit: This article initially stated that the Rock Band Network allowed users to upload their own tracks. It has since been altered.
[Image: Harmonix]

Wasteland 2 review: The toxic adventure

It looks like mankind finally did it. After decades of nuclear-armed nation states flaunting their atomic might, somebody took things a step too far, pressed the big red button and the entire world was reduced to cinders in an apocalyptic hail of ballistic missiles. After the dust settled and the gloom of the nuclear tundra set in, tiny pockets of survivors clamored up from the rubble and banded together like dirty, irradiated meerkats. Most were just in it for the chance to eke out some kind of existence under the new status quo, but those kind souls were constantly harried by bands of raiders, cannibals, mutants and jerks who somehow thought the apocalypse would be an appropriate time to shout, "Blaster Master rules Bartertown!" at every opportunity.

All of this is a pretty big bummer for humanity, but for players of Wasteland 2, the end of the world as we know it is just the beginning of a role-playing game that, through a combination of clever writing, daunting attention to detail and phenomenal post-apocalyptic world building, legitimately earns the oft-hyperbolic descriptor of "epic." It's just too bad that these strengths are so often overshadowed by technical problems.

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Final Fantasy series developers unveil Zodiac for Vita, iOS


French developer Kobojo has assembled a team of Final Fantasy series veterans for Zodiac, an upcoming multiplayer online RPG for iOS platforms and the PlayStation Vita.

Taking place in a persistent online world, Zodiac features gameplay that spans side-scrolling 2D environments interspersed with turn-based battles. The project boasts the involvement of Final Fantasy 7 and Final Fantasy 10 scenario writer Kazushige Nojima and Final Fantasy Tactics composer Hitoshi Sakimoto, among other creative talent.

Zodiac is due to launch in 2015.

[Video: Kobojo]

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Most Hearthstone players remain above Rank 15

Those of you perpetually stuck at Rank 23 in Blizzard's hyper-addictive faux card game Hearthstone shouldn't get too discouraged. Not only are you not alone, you happen to be in the same position as the vast majority of other Hearthstone players.

According to an infographic revealed by the developer (which you can find below the break), 75 percent of all Hearthstone players fall somewhere between Rank 25 and Rank 15 - a far cry from the envy-inducing upper echelons of the game's leaderboards. Furthermore, 17.5 percent of Hearthstone players are located somewhere between Ranks 15 and 10, 5.5 percent are found between Ranks 10 and 5 and a mere 2 percent can legitimately claim to have placed within the top five ranks. The number of players who have reached the rank of "Legend" is almost too small to mention, as it represents only 0.5 percent of all Hearthstone players.

If you're hoping for a noble, academic use for this data, sorry, but Blizzard is seemingly sharing these figures purely to bolster player morale. "Whether you're a Legend or an Angry Chicken or anywhere in between, Hearthstone players are passionate about the game, creative in deck-building, and best of all – a part of the ever-growing Hearthstone community," reads a message from the developer. "If you ever feel that your Rank in Ranked Play is the end all, be all of Hearthstone, don't worry – you're doing better than you think!"
[Image: Activision Blizzard]

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Super Joystiq Podcast 113: Hyrule Warriors, The Master Chief Collection, Murasaki Baby, Theatrhythm

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This week's Super Joystiq Podcast is considering getting butt injections.

There is no doubt now, it's big releases season. Join Ludwig, Jess, Anthony, Earnest, and Danny as the cover a wide range of new big and smaller releases. Final Fantasy talk kicks-ff the show with thoughts on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call and the brand-spankin'-new, road-trippin' Final Fantasy XV trailer out of the Tokyo Game Show. Also on the show, two small releases you might have heard of, Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Hyrule Warriors. A smaller game also gets its due time with discussion of the superbly executed Murasaki Baby for PS Vita.

Prepare yourself for next week's show as well, because the release train keeps on rolling with Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, D4, and Wasteland 2!

Listen to the Super Joystiq Podcast: Podcast timestamps and relevant links are available after the break.

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Double Fine to exit Early Access, release full version of Spacebase DF-9

Double Fine announced that it will abandon its Steam Early Access plans for Spacebase DF-9, revealing that a finished version of its galactic life sim will launch next month.

Spacebase DF-9's dev plans now focus on adding tutorials and in-game goals as the project nears a final release. The announcement scales back Spacebase DF-9's once-ambitious scope, which previously called for dozens of in-depth features to be added over a period of several months via Early Access.

RPS notes that a full source code release will accompany the game's upcoming launch, essentially putting future additions in the hands of its playerbase. Spacebase DF-9 was initially pitched during an internal game jam in December of 2012 before entering Early Access late last year.

[Image: Double Fine]

Murasaki Baby review: A touch of weird

I'll say it first to get it out of the way: Murasaki Baby looks like something that spawned from the slimy, deliciously quirky mind of Tim Burton. Specifically, Murasaki Baby on the Vita looks like the gamification of Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories, a short book of dark children's tales told and illustrated by Burton himself.

It's important to note that this book is short, because it shares that descriptor with Murasaki Baby, and for an apparently similar reason: They're both too strange to support a longer format. From a holistic perspective, Murasaki Baby is a triumph of editing, in recognizing the limits of an absurd idea and executing it to its full potential – and no more.

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Neal Stephenson's sword-fighting game Clang officially shelved

Historical sword-fighting game Clang has officially been axed, developer Subutai Corporation announced yesterday. The game earned $526,125 on Kickstarter in July 2012 and according to creator and sci-fi novelist Neal Stephenson, the developer did eventually deliver on a prototype of the game as promised.

"The prototype was technically innovative, but it wasn't very fun to play," Stephenson wrote in an update on Clang's Kickstarter page, admitting he "probably focused too much on historical accuracy and not enough on making it sufficiently fun to attract additional investment." Development paused last year to attract additional investors, which Stephenson said was part of the initial plan for the game. While Clang was slated to be playable with a mouse and keyboard, the game was expected to support peripherals like Sixense's Razer Hydra motion controller and Kickstarter success STEM system.

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Destiny combines arms in the Crucible this weekend

The next two community events for Bungie's Destiny will start this weekend. We had names for the two events before, Combined Arms and The Queen's Wrath, and now we have dates and descriptions for them as well. The Combined Arms event is an "all out war on a massive scale" in the Crucible multiplayer section. Players form fireteams of up to six, driving across the map and making use of increased heavy weapon ammo drops. The event starts today and lasts through the weekend.

Next up is The Queen's Wrath, a set of bounty missions that begin on Tuesday, September 23 and runs through Monday, October 6. By completing the mission, players earn unique rare and legendary gear. The following two Destiny events are September's Salvage mission and October's Iron Banner mission. This week's Vault of Glass quest was first conquered roughly 11 hours after it opened. Bungie opted to double its well-broadcasted shooter's public events for players to encounter while patrolling areas in the game.
[Image: Bungie]

The demons of Disgaea 5 take on Japan in March 2015

Disgaea 5 already has a March 26, 2015 release date for Japan, just weeks after it debuted at Sony's pre-Tokyo Game Show conference. The PS4 tactical RPG is coming in both download and retail forms, and as Gematsu notes, a demo is headed for the PlayStation Store in Japan sometime next month. For gameplay footage, check out the new trailer below the break.

The next entry in Nippon Ichi Software's off-the-wall mix of demonic heroes, turn-based tactics and volatile penguins is exclusive to PS4, and according to reports NIS wanted to make a game that took advantage of Sony's new hardware. For example, NIS says Disgaea 5 can feature 100 characters on the screen at the same time, compared to just 10 on a PS3 version.

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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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