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Weekly Webcomic Wrapup wishes you a happy holidays

Dear readers,

Don't worry everybody, despite the warm and fuzzy sentiment expressed by this week's headline, we're not going full-blown "TV holiday special" levels of cheesiness. Still, the holidays are upon us now, and we hope you all have a very merry Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Wookiee Life Day/whatever it is you choose to celebrate.

And thanks for being our favorite present!
Love, Joystiq

P.S. Of course there's a vote for webcomics! Check 'em out here and vote after the break:

MGDMT (I'm Really Bad At Fighting Dragons)
ReadySoup (Knucklehead)
Ctrl+Alt+Del (Prey)
Awkward Zombie (Hunter Gatherer)
Double XP (Recast)
Life in Aggro (To Fake A Remake)

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD's Class Zero is wanted for treason

Image Relations can get a bit dramatic between Final Fantasy Type-0 HD's 12-pack of young heroes known as Class Zero, and those flare-ups work well for the above propaganda clip for a dominant Empire. Try and keep Class Zero together when Type-0 HD reaches PS4 and Xbox One in March. [Image: Square E... Continue Reading

Bravely Second's Minette Goroneze lets cats out of the jobs bag

Axes, brass knuckles and the power to summon cats certainly stand as an offbeat arsenal when combined, but maybe Bravely Second newcomer Minette Goroneze is just a trailblazer in battle tactics. Square Enix introduced Minette during a presentation for the 3DS RPG at Jump Festa 2015, though details focused more on the "Cat User" job class than Minette's background.

According to Gematsu's translation of a Dengeki Online report, Cat Users can sacrifice items to summon cats capable of strong attacks. In a demonstrated example, the "Death Spiral" move draws forth a pair of cats to strike enemies several times. Special attacks may burn one or more items, depending on their strength.

An example of the Astrologist class is also present in Minette's concept art, but details weren't offered for that character or class. Considering Contributing Editor Sinan Kubba noticed that there appear to be 30 job slots in Bravely Second footage shown three months ago, we're bound to hear of a few more new ways of life before the game launches in Japan in April 2015.
[Image: Square Enix]

Claire goes back to work in Resident Evil Revelations 2 opening

It's hard to imagine why Claire Redfield of Capcom's Resident Evil universe would put anything other than "I saved you from becoming zombie food" on her resume, but we suppose that's a pretty good attribute when you work for a human rights organization that unravels the schemes of/cleans up the damage made by terrorists using bio-weapons. Unfortunately, being such a high-profile figure also makes you a target, as evidenced by the opening scene of Resident Evil Revelations 2, which you can watch after the break.

Historically, Claire has fared well against both helicopters and men with guns, but age catches up to all of us it seems, and the lady Redfield is unable to save her place of business from attack. Community Manager Brelston writes on the Capcom Unity blog that after this scene, Claire and company wake up on a prison island with "little information, no weapons and no clear way home."

Well, at least our heroine will be in familiar circumstances when Resident Evil Revelations 2 begins its episodic tale on February 17, 2015.

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All but one of Sony's arguments against Killzone lawsuit dismissed

A federal judge has ruled that a class action lawsuit concerning the resolution of Killzone: Shadow Fall may proceed once the lead plaintiff files an amended complaint, according to a release from the US District Court. Lead Plaintiff Douglas Ladore's initial complaint, as reported in August by Courthouse News, alleges that Sony's claim of "razor-sharp 1080p native resolution" is false advertising, as Ladore claims Shadow Fall's multiplayer becomes "blurry to the point of distraction."

Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla Games released a statement in November addressing the game's resolution, explaining that a technique called "temporal reprojection" is used in multiplayer, which "combines pixels and motion vectros from multiple lower-resoultion frames to reconstruct a full 1080p image." The statement added, "If native means that every part of the pipeline is 1080p then this technique is not native."

In the recent ruling, US District Judge Edward Chen dismissed all but one of Sony's arguments - Chen agreed Ladore's negligent misrepresentation claim cannot stand in its current state, as Ladore did not present a non-economic loss (such as personal injury or property damage) suffered in relation to his purchase of Shadow Fall. However, Chen granted Ladore 30 days to file an amended complaint, in case he can "sufficiently allege that he or other putative class members suffered such non-economic damages."
[Image: Sony]

New Final Fantasy 15 footage is pos-Cid-ively Titan-ic



Square Enix showed off new Final Fantasy 15 footage this weekend as part of Japanese gaming, anime and maga convention, Jump Festa 2015. While short, there's plenty of new footage to be enjoyed, including first glimpses at series mainstays Titan and Cid.

Titan is quite a bit larger than the last time he appeared in a Final Fantasy game, but it's Cid that's been given a more thorough makeover; the character, usually portrayed as a male airship mechanic, is now "Cidney," a female. A tough-n-tumble sort of lady who gets down in the dirt and doesn't run around in a chainmail bikini ... because she's wearing hotpants and a jacket too small for a toddler instead.

Kotaku reports that game director Hajime Tabata said the town shown in the trailer will be seamlessly connected to the outside world, and though the development team is aiming to make the whole game seamless, "it may turn out that for important places there will be loading." Tabata also clarified that players will gain experience via battles, but those experience points will not convert into levels until a player makes camp to rest.

A demo for Final Fantasy 15 will be available as part of the initial run of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD when it launches on March 17, 2015.
[Image: Square Enix]

Curtain Call DLC channels Chrono Trigger, SaGa, FF14, Secret of Mana

Just last month, Square Enix released what it stated was the last planned DLC for Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. The developer's plans thankfully seem to have changed however, as a report from Dengeki Online (as translated by Siliconera) notes extra, impending DLC tracks featuring tunes from Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy 14 and the SaGa series.

A bulletpoint outline is available after the break for this batch of tracks, which will arrive on Japan's 3DS eShop on December 24 for 150 yen apiece (though "Ultima" and "Hard to Miss" will be free for the first two weeks). Square Enix hasn't shared plans to bring the DLC encore stateside, but hopefully it will succumb to the gift-giving spirit and spread the love.

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Malkovich, Paxton star in Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies



When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is overrun with zombies, who do you want standing at your side? If you answered "anyone who survived The Walking Dead's zombie apocalypse," "that girl with the gun-leg from Planet Terror," "the general keeping humanity from extinction in Warm Bodies" and "someone with expertise in exoskeletal power armor, like the Master Sergeant from Edge of Tomorrow," we have two things to say to you: One, wow that's a specific list. Like ... really, absurdly specific. And two, congratulations! You'll get all four when the Exo Zombies mode comes to Call of Duty.

According to a new teaser (which you can view above), the Exo Zombies mode will feature the talents of Jon Bernthal (Shane, The Walking Dead), Rose McGowan (Cherry Darling, Planet Terror), John Malkovich (Grigio, Warm Bodies) and Bill Paxton (Master Sergeant Farell, Edge of Tomorrow; also Private Hudson, Aliens). Unfortunately, there's still very little of the mode to be seen in action, so chew on what morsels of gameplay video you can before the zombies chew on Xbox-owning brains in January, and other platform owners at a later date.
[Image: Activision]

Theatrhythm Dragon Quest trailer cuts down Metal Slimes


Theatrhythm Dragon Quest's debut trailer, shown by Square Enix during Jump Festa 2015, likely resembles what Theatrhythm fans imagined when the rhythmic 3DS game was announced last week; a tap-to-the-beat reunion with heroes, monsters and backing tracks from the Dragon Quest series.

The familiar Field and Event Music Stage playstyles are accounted for, but a top-down, Rock Band-style setup seems to shift the four-lane Battle layout from the horizontal scrolling found in previous Theatrhythm releases.

Theatrhythm Dragon Quest will arrive in Japan on March 26, 2015, but a Western release has yet to be confirmed. It's reassuring that previous Theatrhythm games have launched outside of Japan and that Square Enix is gradually releasing mobile ports of Dragon Quest games, but the latest, MMO-flavored entry to the main series, Dragon Quest 10, never reached Western adventurers.
[Image: Square Enix]

The Game Archaeologist: The complete history of classic MMOs

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Since this is my final Game Archeologist post of 2014, I want to indulge in a personal project that's been pulling at my shirt-tails for a little while now. I've been writing this column for years and have yet to create a proper guide to all of the games and subjects that I've covered. So that's what you're getting today: a "complete" (thus far) history of classic, obscure, and dead MMOs, arranged by decade.

Ever wonder where MMOs began? Wanted to know what online gamers played back in the '90s and '80s? Trying to remember which games never made it to launch? Curious whether I've covered that little-known gem that was your doorway to a larger virtual world? Then take my hand and come with me!

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343 announces free ODST campaign as apology for Halo: MCC woes

When Halo: The Master Chief Collection launched in November with a largely non-functional online multiplayer component, people were upset. Bonnie Ross, head of developer 343 Industries, personally apologized for the issues, promising to "make this right" with fans of old Tall, Green and Handsome. Yesterday, Ross elaborated on just what she meant: free stuff, including an updated version of Halo 3: ODST running on Xbox One.

Anyone who played Halo: The Master Chief Collection online between launch (November 11, 2014) and December 19, 2014 is eligible to receive one month of complimentary Xbox Live Gold, an exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar, and a free download of the Halo 3: ODST campaign running at 1080p and 60 frames per second. Lastly, everyone who plays The Master Chief Collection will be able to enjoy an updated version of the Halo 2 map, "Relic," when it launches as a free content update for the game.

‚ÄčThe nameplate and avatar will be added to The Master Chief Collection sometime later this month, while a reworked Relic and the ODST campaign will arrive sometime in spring of 2015. "Both [Relic and Halo 3: ODST] were not part of our original development plans, but as a result of community feedback, and to do something special for our fans, both are now in development," an FAQ page for the recently-announced content reads.

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Bravo, you've opened Pandora's app on Xbox One

The Xbox One was originally announced as a console that would bring games, movies, television and other entertainment together in one place. Recently-instated head of Xbox Phil Spencer may be more about the "games" part of the equation, but that doesn't mean the console has stopped supporting its secondary functions. Case in point: This week, the Xbox One has received apps for Pandora, Vevo, Bravo, Telemundo and Popcornflix.

If you're unfamiliar with any of the above, here's a quick rundown:
  • Pandora is an online music service that creates playlists based on the input you give it. Enter "Aerosmith" for example, and you'll wind up with a station that plays classic rock.
  • If you like to engage your eyeballs at the same time as your eardrums, Vevo hosts a collection of music videos to enjoy.
  • Bravo Now is an app that lets you watch full episodes of Bravo programming such as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce.
  • The Telemundo Now app operates on the same concept: Log in with your service provider and watch full episodes of Telemundo novelas, shows and specials.
  • Popcornflix is a free video streaming service that hosts hundreds of films at no additional cost.
Enjoy your music and movies, señors and señoritas.
[Image: Microsoft/Pandora]

WRUP: Happy holidays!

It's the last WRUP before Christmas Day, and Alexander's gone and left me in charge of it. Still, what's the worst that could happen, right?

Happy holidays, y'all! What's everyone playing this weekend?

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Barely Related: The Interview didn't go well

Happy holidays, everyone!

Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.

Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.

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Green Man Gaming holiday sale: Alien: Isolation, Evil Within

Today marks the start of Green Man Gaming's annual Green Grogre holiday sale, where the digital games retailer offers hefty discounts on a wide range of games, both recent and not so recent.

Highlights of the sale include intergalactic survival horror gem Alien: Isolation at $25, while the terrestrial horror of The Evil Within is priced at $20.39 and sizable strategy hit Total War: Rome 2 Emperor Edition is $14.98. If buying one game at a time seems terribly inefficient, you can choose from either the massive Half-Life Complete Edition compilation or the Tomb Raider Franchise compilation. Both have received 75 percent discounts.

The Green Grogre holiday sale is scheduled to run until January 2. Prospective buyers should check the site regularly, as Green Man Gaming plans to add new discounts each day.
[Image: Green Man Gaming]

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