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Shelter 2's first gameplay trailer says 'click this lynx'

Stockholm-based independent developer Might and Delight offered up its first gameplay trailer of Shelter 2 today, the studio's next PC exploration game. Found after the break, the video demonstrates the motherly lynx's survival and protection methods, including tracking down prey and cautiously trotting close to her cubs.

The survival sequel features "more elaborate gameplay features than its predecessor," according to the game's site. Shelter 2 will add stamina as well as a greater variety of movement and killing abilities. Players will also be able to call their cubs to their side, carry them and encourage them to drink from streams. First announced in March, Shelter 2 is expected to launch on Steam, GOG and other digital platforms in February 2015 following its delay earlier this month.
[Image: Might and Delight]

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy issues its final DLC pack

Publisher Square Enix has revealed that yesterday's burst of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call downloadable content is the last planned for the excellent 3DS rhythm game.

As with prior DLC releases, this final push includes nine additional songs and a new character who can be added to a player's in-game party. That character is the Kingdom Hearts 2 incarnation of Auron, a stoic fighter best known for his supporting role in Final Fantasy X, while the new tunes range from Final Fantasy 2's "Chocobo Theme" and Final Fantasy 7's "The Chase" to more recent songs like "We Have Come" from Final Fantasy Type-0. For a full track listing, visit Square Enix's blog.

Like all Theathrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call DLC releases, each individual song and character bears a $1 price tag via the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Unfortunately, there's no discount for buying the entire slate en masse.

Barely Related: Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is full of surprises

Surprise! It's Friday! Now let's get down to some geeky business.

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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Super Smash Bros. Amiibo figures are part trophy, part protégé

Nintendo is getting into the figurine game with a lineup called "amiibo" (disregard for capitalization included). Set to cooperate with several different games, most prominently this holiday's Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., the Amiibo statues capture the company's fanciful characters in a cute, tangible form. "Capturing" might be too strong a word, though, because it implies more fiction than there really is.

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WRUP: And the moral of the story is...


Don't send people death threats. More specifically, if you're a developer, most certainly don't threaten to kill Gabe Newell.

What's everyone playing?

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All five prior Scream Fortress maps return to Team Fortress 2

To prepare players for the imminent horror of a new Scream Fortress map, Team Fortress 2 developer Valve has made all five of its previous Scream Fortress releases available to players at no charge.

As its punny name suggests, a Scream Fortress map is a Team Fortress 2 map designed to be extra spooky, with additions like zombies, arcane magic and new, thematically-appropriate achievements. Er, excuse me, according to Valve that should read "Necromannchievements." In practice, new Scream Fortress maps are a usually just a change of scenery for most regular Team Fortress 2 players, but any excuse to gun down magical wizard ghosts is a good one.

There are no caveats attached to these five re-released Scream Fortress maps. Anyone with a copy of Team Fortress 2 can jump right into the Halloween gunplay after a relatively quick, free download.
[Image: Valve]

Sony sets up Season Passes for Video Unlimited, PS Store

Sony has introduced a new feature for the PlayStation Store and its Video Unlimited service, allowing users to buy full seasons of featured content at a discount.

Starting today, PSN shoppers can queue up a full season of their favorite shows with a single "Buy Season" purchase. The feature is available for the PlayStation 3 and online via the PS Store this week, and support for the PlayStation 4, Bravia TVs, and Blu-ray players is coming soon.

Sony commemorates today's feature launch with a collection of discounts for several popular series, including The Walking Dead. Season Pass launch deals go into effect on October 30, and extend through November 17.

[Image: Sony]

Pixel horror finds a Home on PS4 in October

Home, the pixelated horror game from Benjamin Rivers, is due out on PS4 on October 28, "just in time for Halloween," Rivers writes on the PlayStation Blog. The Vita version will come out soon after, and it is a Cross-Buy game, meaning those who buy it on PS4 automatically get it on Vita, too. Home will be on sale for $3 for the first two weeks after the PS4 launch.

"Home has been a weird little trailblazer, and it now has the honor of being the first title developed entirely within YoYo Games' Game Maker Studio environment to natively hit PlayStation consoles," Rivers says. "It's pretty amazing as an independent developer to be able to make console games, and I couldn't think of a better home for it (pun totally intended)."

In Home, players wake up as a man with no memory of how he ended up alone in a stranger's house. As he makes his way to more familiar territory, he finds things that jog his memory, and the story changes as players decide what objects to pick up and what information to digest. We heard Home would hit Sony consoles this year back in March.
[Image: Sony]

The Legend of Korra review: Bend it like Bayonetta

Bending the elements like folks do in The Legend of Korra is an intoxicating dream. Much as they did in the original Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon, many people born in Korra's world can freely manipulate the four elements through martial arts. The Avatar, born into every generation to maintain the spiritual balance of the world Dalai Lama style, is the only one who can bend all four. Fire from your fingers, literally riding the wind, lifting up the earth to make an easy chair, and never needing a squirt gun; the promise of feeling unity with the physical world, even if you're just playing around, is mesmerizing. Who wouldn't want to do that?

That Platinum Games captures even a little of that feeling in its video game adaptation of The Legend of Korra is impressive, but physical fantasy is only one piece of the show's winning formula. Platinum's made a fun, flighty, sometimes infuriatingly pedantic game that's admirably old fashioned but disappointingly limited. The Legend of Korra is a strong body missing most of its heart.
[Images: Activision/Nickelodeon]

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How Nintendo rolls in 8-player Super Smash Bros.

Moments before attendees grabbed the controllers at a Super Smash Bros. press event, held in a hotel in San Francisco on Thursday evening, Nintendo had a pristine setup (above) aimed at 8 connoisseurs of clash. The configuration - 1 Wii U, 8 wired special-edition GameCube controllers, a token Gamepad and two controller adapter hubs – illustrates just one of the many options you have to exceed the traditional fight between 4 players when the game comes to Wii U on November 21.

Each of Nintendo's GameCube adapters supports 4 controllers – add in another adapter and you open the possibility of 8 active, wired players. The adapter itself plugs into 2 USB ports simultaneously, so you'll be taking up all 4 of the Wii U's ports (2 on the front and 2 on the back) if you try to mimic this setup. If you have external storage hooked up already, you can also lessen the load via a powered USB hub.

The result, though, is a responsive Smash Bros. experience which serves the true challenge of 8-player mode: finding out where the hell you are in all that delirious chaos.

StarCraft 2 and the quest for the highest APM

A game like StarCraft 2, popular amongst both casual strategy fans and professional gamers, showcases the large divide between playing a game for fun and for competition.

There are seven ranked multiplayer leagues per region globally in StarCraft 2, a daunting number of leaderboards that welcome both the infrequent and the dedicated player. The elite players, however, are the Grandmasters – a tiny, region-based pool of StarCraft 2 experts.

The road to Grandmaster is not for the weak. One must be willing to 'play' for hours, days, and months – even years – to get better. The learning curve can be incredibly unforgiving towards a beginner. Forget to scan the battlefield? You could lose you entire Marine army to some burrowed Banelings. Forget to build anti-air defenses? A couple of Void Rays could take out your entire base. Forget to build workers? You won't lose the match immediately, but you'll get destroyed once the game enters its middle phase. And then, of course, there's the cheese – the ludicrous, yet powerful strategies that lead to an instant win or loss.

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Watch Nintendo's awkward Amiibo primer for Super Smash Bros.

Image If you can ignore the obnoxious camera sway, the kids who sound like thirtysomething actors on a CBS sitcom and everything about its clumsy plot, this Amiibo introduction video is a solid primer on the basics of Nintendo's upcoming figurines. [Image: Nintendo] ... Continue Reading

Joystiq Deals: Classic NES, GameBoy cases for iPhone 6

Because the one feature Apple can never include in their phones is a comforting sense of childhood nostalgia, this edition of Joystiq Deals is aimed at wrapping your new iPhone 6 in the iconic aesthetic of Nintendo gaming devices circa 1989.

Available in both NES Controller and GameBoy designs, Rocketcases protective sheaths are available for both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Normally priced at $20 each, for the next eight days Joystiq Deals users can grab the case of their choice for $14. To take advantage of this deal, visit the Joystiq Deals website, or if you're looking for more information on the cases themselves, visit Rocketcases' site.
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.

Halloween Horror Streams: Left 4 Dead 2 brings, mauls us together



In the name of Halloween Horror Streams, you've seen Joystiq ask inane questions of Slender Man. You've seen Joystiq wear a schoolgirl outfit while berating, then fearfully running away from a giant psychotic wielding a hammer. Now, with just one week left before All Hallows' Eve, you'll watch Joystiq scream at one another to not use up their dang med packs while a Boomer is still in the room. Seriously, what are you doing, your health is over 50 percent! Just save the med pack. Great. Now we're going to die. Everyone back to the safe room.

Left 4 Dead 2 comes to Joystiq's Halloween Horror Streams on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST! Thrill as Jess Conditt (@JessConditt) has to save everyone. Swoon as Xav de Matos (@Xav) wields a shotgun like a surgeon. Rage as Alexander Sliwinski (@Sliwinski) hordes all the pills. Gawp as Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello) tries to remember the controls.

Joystiq.com/Twitch is where the magic happens every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:00PM EST. Halloween Horror Streams, however, happen all the time through Halloween so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Valve]

Survival horror sequel Outlast 2 in development

Independent developer Red Barrels delivers terrifying news just in time for Halloween, announcing that it is developing a sequel to its first-person survival horror game Outlast.

"After shipping the [Xbox One] version of Outlast, we took some time to analyze our situation and we quickly realized we had at least another horror game in us," Red Barrels co-founder Philippe Morin told horror-themed news site Bloody Disgusting. "So, yes, we are working on Outlast 2."

Morin notes that Outlast 2 will shift its setting and inflict the series' trademark cruelty on a new cast of characters. "The game will be a survival horror experience and it will take place in the same universe as Outlast, but it will have different characters and a different setting," he said. "We might go back to Mount Massive Asylum one day, but for now we have new ideas and themes we'd like to explore and we think we're cooking up something special.

"We're still a small indie studio (12 people), so we'll need a little bit of time to ship our next game, but hopefully it will be worth it."

Outlast premiered for PC platforms in 2013, and later hit the PlayStation 4 as a free download for PlayStation Plus subscribers. A release date and target platforms for Outlast 2 were not announced.

[Image: Red Barrels]

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