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Mega Man channels Cut Man to deal with Virtual Console prices

Capcom kicked off a sale on games in its Mega Man series through the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops today. The sale coincides with the 27th anniversary of the iconic blue hero as well as the debut of another game on Nintendo's Virtual Console: Mega Man Zero. The Game Boy Advance classic is now available on the Wii U eShop for $7.99.

The "Mega Manniversary" sale hacks 50 percent off the price of six Mega Man games until Monday, December 22 at 11:59 a.m. ET (8:59 a.m. PT). On sale are the Game Boy versions of Mega Man 2, Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 4 for 3DS, each down to $1.49. As for Wii U, players can download NES games Mega Man 5 and Mega Man 6 for $2.49 each as well as Mega Man 7 for $3.99. Of course, kids these days may have troubles with these difficult retro platformers.
[Image: Capcom]

Report: Microsoft building game-streaming tech, 'Arcadia'

Microsoft has job openings within a new cloud-based Operating Systems Group, and one of the listings says the project is called "Arcadia." ZDNet reports that Arcadia is a new streaming system built on the Azure cloud and is poised to replace Microsoft's Rio game-streaming tech. Arcadia will stream games and apps to Microsoft devices, the site says. Halo 5 on your Windows Phone, anyone?

One of Microsoft's job listings reads, in part, as follows: "The new Operating Systems Group (OSG) Streaming team is leveraging the cloud to bring premium and unique experiences to Microsoft's core platforms. These experiences take advantage of a new geo-distributed massively scaling service to redefine what is possible on today's devices. The client team is building the user facing application(s), bridging the service and devices together seamlessly. Our team is a small but growing and dedicated to solving one of Microsoft's biggest business challenges in a creative fashion."

Both job listings note that experience with iOS and Android app development is "a plus." As Engadget points out, this technology is most likely a long way off, since the development team isn't even finalized yet.

Sony has its own game-streaming system, PlayStation Now, and that's in beta on PS4, Vita and PS TV, well, now.
[Image: Microsoft]

Hearthstone now available worldwide on Android devices

hearthstone
After a soft launch in select countries on Android devices, Hearthstone is now available worldwide for Android gamers.

To run it, you'll need to have an Android device that's at least 6" or larger. Like the other platform versions, the Android edition of Hearthstone will sync up with your Battle.net account and allow you to use your existing cards (if you have any). Plans are in the works for an Android version to work on smaller-size phones.

Hearthstone recently won the award for Massively's Best Pseudo-MMO of 2014. Android players can snag it on Google Play or through Amazon.

'Lords of the Fallen 2' in early stages of development

It looks like Bandai Namco's other brutally punishing action RPG, Lords of the Fallen, is getting a sequel. The news comes by way of developer CI Games executive producer Tomasz Gop, who confirmed on Facebook (and also to Eurogamer) that development on the sequel's "vision and concepts" has begun. Gop refers to the game simply as "Lords of the Fallen 2," though we fully expect a grim subtitle to be tacked on at some point. Lords of the Fallen 2: Dim Spirits, perhaps.

Our own review of Lords of the Fallen praised the game's departures from the Dark Souls series, with which it shares a great deal, but ultimately found that "there comes a point at which it has no more tricks up its sleeve."
[Image: Bandai Namco]

Natural Selection 2 dev's 'Subnautica' dives into Steam Early Access

Natural Selection 2 developer Unknown Worlds launched its latest game on Steam Early Access this week, Subnautica. In it, players submerse themselves in an "alien underwater world" with brightly-colored creatures and environments, such as coral reefs and volcanoes. Fighting to survive, the swimmers also hunt for resources to build new gear and submarines, allowing them to further explore the aquatic areas.

Subnautica is currently 10 percent off ($18) until December 23 and supports virtual reality headsets such as Oculus Rift. Unknown Worlds handed development duties for Natural Selection 2 to a group of dedicated fans in June, after announcing Subnautica one year ago. Head past the break to see a trailer for Subnautica, showing some of the pretty (and some of the ferocious) creatures in the Early Access game.
[Image: Unknown Worlds]

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Veteran producer Tak Fujii departs Konami

Veteran producer Tak Fujii announced his departure from Konami today following a "great 20 years of creation." Fujii revealed the career move via Twitter, giving thanks to "all who supported, loved my titles." Fujii's time with Konami began in 1997, serving as audio director for 11 years with the publisher.

Fujii worked on a number of games with Konami, including the Pro Evolution Soccer series, Q-Entertainment's Ninety-Nine Nights 2, the PS3 port of No More Heroes: Heroes' Paradise and Volition's Darksiders, which Konami published in Japan. As for Fujii's future, the producer added that he "will be freelance for a while." Of course, Fujii may be best known for providing an interesting presentation at E3 2010, about which he also tweeted, "d
on't think that was the best of me."
[Image: Konami]

EVE Online nixes industry teams

eve
Not every new idea is going to take off and be a smash hit, as CCP definitely understands this as much as anyone. The EVE Online developer said that the implementation of industry teams earlier this year has been vastly underused, and as a result, teams will be removed from the game entirely in 2015.

"We have been closely tracking all related industry metrics and dials and it is apparent to us that usage of teams has been very low relative to the goals we set for it -- with single figure percentage use in manufacturing jobs and near nonexistent use in research," CCP wrote.

Industry teams had allowed players to hire NPCs to help out with industry jobs. The feature will be "methodically removed" over the next few months, although players will be able to use teams until they are forceably retired.

On another note, EVE tweeted that it has freed up over six million names from former trial players and has made them available for general use.

Joystiq Deals: Borderlands - The Pre-Sequel 48-hour sale

Joystiq Deals is offering the latest entry in Gearbox's acclaimed Borderlands series at a special price over the next 48 hours. Today and tomorrow only, you can grab a Steam-redeemable copy of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel for only $39.99, shaving $20 off its regular retail price.

If you want to hang out with Handsome Jack, you'll need to act fast - our sale ends tomorrow. Good luck out there, vault hunters.


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.

Amazon offers PS4, camera and two games for under $450

Black Friday is now a distant memory, but it's not too late to score a solid deal on a current-gen console in the days leading up to Christmas. Amazon is currently selling a PlayStation 4 hardware bundle that includes a PlayStation camera and two additional games for $440.99.

Along with the hardware on offer, buyers will also receive a digital copy of The Last of Us Remastered and a code for their choice of one of four additional games. Eligible titles include Destiny, NBA 2K15, Far Cry 4, and LittleBigPlanet 3.

If you're looking for a similar deal on the Glacier White PlayStation 4 Destiny Bundle, Best Buy is offering a free copy of Killzone Shadow Fall with the $399.99 package this week.

[Image: Sony]

Destiny hot fix tweaks Crota's End raid drops

If you're suffering from a lack of level-boosting loot in Destiny's raids, Bungie has the cure for what ails you. A patch issued this week tweaks gear drop rates within The Dark Below's new raid mission Crota's End, ensuring that more players will receive new equipment for their efforts.

Following this week's patch, Raid gear in Crota's End now begins at level 30, putting players on an upgrade path to level 32. The Crota's End-specific helmet item additionally spawns on Normal Mode now, and Hard Mode players have a better chance of receiving it as a drop.

The fix also addresses issues regarding reputation gains, Hive shield functionality, and Pocket Infinity charging. The patch is available as a free update for all Destiny players on all available platforms.

[Image: Bungie]

Xeodrifter review: Snacktroid

3DS, PC

There's a purity to Xeodrifter that I really admire. The 2D action exploration game is brief, but Xeodrifter explores its simple, well-executed mechanics to a T. It takes the best elements of other exploration-driven action games like Castlevania and Metroid and packs them neatly into a handful of hours.

Nimbly rewarding you with health extensions, gun upgrades and special abilities along the way, Xeodrifter plays something like a "greatest hits" compilation of the genre, though not without adding a few B-sides of its own. Before long, you'll be running at turbo speed, soaring into the sky with rocket-propelled leaps and cleaving your way through enemies with enhanced firepower.

There's no cruft, no filler – just a competent, compact adventure.

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Skylanders Trap Team Light and Dark expansions hit retail this weekend

Skylanders veterans will soon be able to master in-game elements never previously seen in the series via a pair of new Skylanders Trap Team expansion packs premiering at retail this weekend.

Trap Masters Knight Mare and Knight Light join the Skylanders roster as part of Trap Team's new Light and Dark Element Expansion Packs. Each pack includes a character figure, a Trap accessory that allows players to trap and control Light and Dark villains, and a location piece that unlocks new levels featuring Light and Dark element-specific content.

Players who ventured through Skylanders Trap Team likely noticed deactivated element gates scattered throughout specific levels. These gates can only be accessed using the new Light and Dark element characters, opening up a significant portion of the game that was locked off since launch.

Trap Team's Light and Dark Element Expansion Packs will launch exclusively at Toys"R"Us stores on December 21 at $29.99 apiece.

[Image: Activision]

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Assassin's Creed: Unity patch is 40 GB on Xbox One for some

The fourth patch for Assassin's Creed: Unity arrived yesterday as a sizable 6.7 GB download. At least, that's the case for non-Xbox One players; some players using the Microsoft console are facing 40 GB downloads for the patch, effectively the size of the full game on the system's hard drive. Ubisoft explained the situation in an update on its support site, noting the "issue with the patch downloading process is replacing the entire game instead of just the parts affected by the patch."

The publisher is "working with Microsoft on a solution to reduce the total download to the intended size so that you can get back into the game faster," though it does not have an estimated timeline for the patch's fix just yet. Ubisoft did provide an alternative workaround for disc-based Assassin's Creed: Unity owners: By uninstalling and then re-installing the game, the patch will revert to the correct 6.7 GB download size. The publisher briefly delayed the launch of the patch earlier this week to "refurbish" the game's Paris map. The update is expected to fix ""most of the remaining issues [Ubisoft's] players have been reporting."

The Sims 4 update gets paid time off, adds holiday cheer

EA updated The Sims 4 this week, adding a significant amount of new content to the life simulation game. Your sims can now go after an athletic or business career like Hall of Famer or Business Tycoon and accrue paid time off for any of their occupations, plus they can take family leave from their jobs to celebrate new life entering their families. The developer also changed career objectives, cleaning out repetitive or overly specific goals and tweaking ones that were too difficult to complete.

The update also introduces the free, downloadable Holiday Celebration Pack, which adds a wreath, snowman, holiday decorations and festive sweaters to the game. Additionally, sims are now able to eat the fruits and vegetables they harvest from gardening activities, and can also die at venues. EA also fixed a few game-crashing bugs and other issues, such as a crash that occurred when players tried placing roofs away from their lot. Head to The Sims 4's patch notes page to see the full list of changes.

Time-bending teen drama Life is Strange debuts next month

The debut episode of the DONTNOD-developed Life is Strange arrives on January 30, 2015, Square Enix announced today. The publisher commemorated the news with a new trailer showing the game in action. To see how Remember Me studio DONTNOD is mixing emotional teenage drama with supernatural time manipulation, check out the video below the break.

Life is Strange caught our eye at Gamescom this year, particularly in the way it presented a convincing glimpse of modern teenage life. As Joystiq's Jess Conditt put it, "Life is Strange presents two fully realized, genuine young women navigating adolescence, betrayal, love and loss. Chloe's pot-smoking and profanity-laced room feel honest to her character, as does her reception of Max. Anyone who's drifted apart from a teenage best friend can relate to the guarded, chilly reunion between these two girls, as well as the spark of envy that Max can display when she learns about Rachel, the new best – and perhaps better – friend."

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Super Joystiq Podcast 125: The Crew, Dragon Age Inquisition, The Evil Within

Latest episode: Friday, December 12th, 2014

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