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Weekly Webcomic Wrapup got good gifts this year

Welcome back, Joystiq readers! Last year around this time, I asked you what you gave someone as a gift for the holidays. This year, it's okay to brag a little bit about what you got. But of course, as I am a sentimental sort, I'll tell you one of my favorite gifts I got this year: time with my dad.

Now, this wasn't some super sappy father-son heart-to-heart moment or anything. On Christmas, my dad wanted to go into town and workout at the gym, and since I had some extra time before I needed to head out, I joined him. We played some classic rock that we both liked and did our routines, and he showed me some new tips and tricks to help me out (he's a big guy himself, and has trained with a former Mr. Universe competitor). Again, nothing deserving of a Lifetime movie, but I still appreciated his help and the time we spent together doing something we both enjoy.

How about you? Tell us about your favorite gifts in the comments, after you vote for your favorite webcomic after the break!

Critical Miss (Critical Missmas)
ReadySoup (Cockadoodle-who) (NSFW-ish)
Ctrl+Alt+Del (Anything is game)
ActionTrip (Merry But Not Very)
Nerf NOW!! (Mourning)
Awkward Zombie (Easy-Bake Coven)

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Mistwalker head shares trailer for canceled JRPG, Cry On

Cry On, a JRPG collaboration from Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey developer Mistwalker and the now-dissolved Cavia, was once planned for release on the Xbox 360. While the project was canceled on Christmas Day in 2008 due to the state of the market, studio lead Hironobu Sakaguchi took to YouTube yesterday to share the above concept trailer.

As archived by Unseen64, Cry On's story was intended to star a young girl named Sally in a Middle Age-esque time period. In this world, miniature creatures called Bogles were placed on rooftops as protective charms. Bogles once lived beside humans as giants, and with knowledge of their past in mind, humans attempted to restore their towering figures for the sake of war. Players would have progressed through the game with the aid of a special, human-language-speaking Bogle, allowing them to experience puzzle-focused, RPG scenarios while playing as Sally and slightly action-like bouts while guiding Sally's Bogle.

Neither the studio nor potential fans may ever get the chance to see a full realization of Cry On, but with more-recent outings like The Last Story and the mobile, tile-based Terra Battle, at least the studio is still crafting RPGs.
[Image: Mistwalker]

Mevius Final Fantasy to suffer from amnesia on iPhone, Android

There are fresh Final Fantasy games to play or look forward to on most gaming platforms, and Square Enix is looking to expand its RPG portfolio with Mevius Final Fantasy on Android and iPhone. Touted as a "full-scale, high-quality RPG," Mevius FF is due to reach Japan this spring, with a Western release date still to be announced.

A Gematsu report touched on Mevius FF's story earlier this month, which plays out in Paramatia, a bleak land with a populace untouched by the "Light of Hope." Players wake in this world without a single memory, but a mysterious voice will guide them along their path.

As busy as Square Enix is working with the Final Fantasy series, those that would prefer a fresh RPG adventure should still have something to anticipate – the developer began assembling a studio to make a brand-new console RPG three months ago.
[Image: Square-Enix]

Please notice the Crunchyroll app on Wii U, senpai

Thousands of hours of anime are now available on Wii U consoles via the Crunchyroll app on the eShop, Nintendo and Crunchyroll have announced. The app, which hosts shows like Naruto Shippuden, One Piece and Sword Art Online, features sample videos for free, but if you want total access, you'll need a Premium membership.

Crunchyroll offers several different Premium memberships: one that provides unlimited selection of manga ($4.95/month), one providing unlimited selection of anime ($6.95/month), and an "all-access" version which combines anime and manga while adding drama shows to the mix ($11.95/month).
[Image: Crunchyroll]

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Kirby and the Rainbow Curse trailer shows 4-player gameplay

Nintendo recently shared a new trailer for Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and while its voiceover is in Japanese, that doesn't stop anyone from enjoying its gameplay. The trailer grants a few examples of how players can use lines traced on the Wii U GamePad for things other than guiding Kirby, as well as glimpses of transformations like Tank, Rocket and Submarine Kirby. Multiplayer scenes are also shown, with Waddle Dee characters appearing to move freely and having the capability to carry Kirby through stages.

According to Serebii translator StreetsAhead, the above trailer also explains the extent of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse's amiibo support. StreetsAhead noted that Kirby amiibo allow players to use the star dash ability at any time, while Meta Knight amiibo dole out a character-themed mask and higher attack power. King Dedede amiibo also lend a mask, in addition to a more resilient health bar. StreetsAhead added that players will be able to use each amiibo once per day on one stage.

You can trace a trail from store shelves to your Wii U when Kirby and the Rainbow Curse launches on February 13.
[Image: Nintendo]

Temple Run VR gets Demon Monkeys in your Oculus-wearing face

The Temple Run games have virtually defined the endless runner genre, so it's fitting that virtual reality defines the latest entry, Temple Run VR. Designed for the Samsung Gear VR (a more portable version of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset that substitutes a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 for its screen), Temple Run VR puts you into the first-person view of an explorer who steals an ancient idol and is subsequently hunted by Arctic Demon Monkeys.

Well, it won't win any awards for best writing, but sometimes you just want to get straight into the action.

"We're thrilled to see this new virtual reality technology in the hands of consumers, and are inspired by the potential for new game experiences," Keith Shepherd, co-founder of developer Imangi Studios said in a press release. "It's been a pleasure working with Samsung and Oculus to bring Temple Run VR to life, and we can't wait to see what players think of the chase."

Temple Run VR is now available to download via the Gear VR's digital storefront for free.
[Image: Imangi Studios]

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Rockstar extends GTA Online's Christmas gift window due to XBL, PSN outage

If you had trouble opening your Christmas Day inventory gifts in Grand Theft Auto Online, you weren't alone. Between apparent DDoS attacks and the likely holiday rush of player traffic, Xbox Live and PlayStation Network have suffered connectivity issues over the past few days. Rockstar Games is no Grinch however – in recognition of the downtime seen with online services, the developer is extending its Christmas day gift-giving streak "for the time being."

Rockstar's initial press release specified that a seasonal tree for GTA Online apartments is among its Christmas Day bundle, but it also encouraged players to check their inventory for "a few extra gifts." The festivities will continue on for New Year's, offering firework launchers to help welcome 2015, and the celebratory chaos will be available through January 5.

At the time of this writing, the outlook for presents is good – a status page for Xbox Live is currently showing green lights for online play.

Update: The PlayStation Network has gone offline since this story was published. Recent activity from the Ask PlayStation Twitter account notes that an estimated revival time cannot be given, but adds that engineers are currently working on resolving the issue. We recommend keeping an eye on Ask PlayStation and also checking the related status page before making plans to play on PSN.
[Image: Rockstar Games]

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, Omega Ruby soundtracks now on iTunes

If you found an iTunes gift card stuffed in your stocking this week, feel free to think of it as a real-world Master Ball from the Pokemon series. Why? Because you can use it to capture Primal Groudon and Primal Kyogre (or at least their theme songs) thanks to the recent release of the Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire soundtracks.

There are 160 songs waiting to be captured by your iPod/computer hard drive, all for $9.99. We gave the games four and a half stars in our review, writing that, "Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire do little to overhaul the major pillars of a series that's long relied on the same set of classic ideas, but they don't have to. The core mechanics of Pokemon remain immensely addictive, and Game Freak's latest coat of polish only enhances an already captivating adventure."
[Image: The Pokemon Company/Nintendo]

Joystiq's favorite new characters of 2014

It takes all sorts to make up the video game worlds we explore, and sometimes a few characters stand out as our favorites. From the buffoonery of Ratbag to the big splash made by the Troupple King, this year featured a host of unique new faces.

As we close out another year of gaming, we look back at some of our favorites. Of course we couldn't highlight them all, so we ask: What are your favorite characters of 2014?

Console Madness: Free Sunset Overdrive Xbox One and much more

Joystiq will never stop giving away consoles! NEVER! Until we run out of consoles to give away, of course. That ain't happening yet. Following up our Nintendo 3DS XL giveaway comes yet another Xbox One giveaway. This one, however, is the possibly the best of them all. We're giving away an ultra rare Sunset Overdrive Xbox One, with its fancy white case and a copy of Insomniac's game. While we only have one of these beauties to hand out, at least one runner up will receive a box of swag culled from the Joystiq offices. What's inside? You'll have to win to find out.

Here's how to get the prizes: Just use the Rafflecopter widget below between December 26 and January 2. Winners will be selected at random and contacted via email. Full rules and details after the break.

Sunset Overdrive Xbox One giveaway
[Images: Microsoft/Insomniac Games]

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Roleplaying classic Akalabeth now free on

In 1979, Richard Garriott launched Akalabeth: World of Doom, arguably the first computer roleplaying game and the predecessor to his seminal Ultima series. Now, thanks to, you can own this piece of gaming history at no charge.

With this offer, Akalabeth joins three other games designed by Garriott - Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire, Ultima Worlds of Adventure: Martian Dreams and Ultima 4: Quest of the Avatar – on's list of free games. If that's not enough retro roleplaying game action for your tastes, also offers the fan-favorite Ultima 7 Complete Edition at $6, or you could just grab the entire Ultima series en masse for just under $30.

Purists be warned: The version of Akalabeth available on is not the original game, but is instead a 1998 remake, created because software from 1979 just doesn't play well with modern hardware. The latter-day game hews very closely to its predecessor and for most people is a flawless translation, but devotees will be able to spot minor changes.
[Image: Richard Garriott]

Joystiq Deals: Free anime for 30 days from Crunchyroll

If you love anime, Joystiq Deals has an offer you won't want to miss. This week, we're giving our members a 30-day Crunchyroll membership, free of charge.

Crunchyroll offers over 10,000 hours of content across hundreds of available anime titles streamed via your Internet browser, mobile device, or game console. Sign up now and you'll have 30 days to catch up on all your favorite shows, for free. Check it out!

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.

Super Joystiq Podcast 127: Notable games of 2014 and GotY discussion

This week's Super Joystiq Podcast believes Destiny is Richard Hatch.

As another year of gaming comes to a close, we convene to go over some of the standout titles of 2014, a few overlooked gems, and clunkers that hit over the past 365 days. Join Alexander, Susan, Mike, and Danny for a smorgasbord of game talk covering Far Cry 4, Desert Golfing, Hearthstone, Sunset Overdrive, Persona Q, Shovel Knight, Destiny, Never Alone, and so, so many more.

Let us know your picks for 2014 in comments!

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

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Barely Related: A nerdy year in review

Merrily Related to you all! This is a special edition of Barely Related, covering the stand-out stories of 2014, from May 2 onward (because that's when this whole column got started). This isn't all-encompassing, but it's a nice snapshot of our year in nerdery and geekdom – if you have a beloved bit of news not covered here, leave it in the comments with your commentary!

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Xbox Live, PSN suffer outages in apparent denial of service attack [Update]

Update: In a tweet early this morning, PlayStation support wrote: "PS4, PS3, and Vita network services are gradually coming back online – thanks for your patience." Save for some apps experiencing issues, Xbox Live appears to have been cleared of connectivity problems.

Original Post: The Grinch stole online connectivity this year, it would seem. Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network have been hit with online issues, with each service taken offline in an apparent DDoS attack (distributed denial of service). The targeted attack began late in the evening on December 24 and continues today.

PlayStation Network services, including the Sony Network Entertainment website, are currently offline. Xbox Live services appear to be functioning in part on Xbox One and Xbox 360; however, some users are still reporting issues connecting to Xbox Live, playing games online and accessing cloud content – including any pinned games and apps. Sony and Microsoft have acknowledged the outages via their respective Twitter accounts.

"We are aware that some users are experiencing difficulty logging into the PSN. We will update this article with any changes that occur in regards to this issue. Thank you for your patience," the PlayStation Network status page added. Sony's service has been taken offline for maintenance. The Xbox Support Page notes a select number of apps are currently experiencing issues.


The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 127: Notable games of 2014 and GotY discussion

Latest episode: Friday, December 26th, 2014

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