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World's largest fighting game tournament, Evo 2014, begins today

Today marks the debut of the Evo 2014 fighting game tournament in Las Vegas, but those who didn't book airfare to the City of Sin won't be entirely left out thanks to a bevy of broadcast streams covering all the virtual fisticuffs.

Eight top fighting games are officially represented at Evo 2014: Ultra Street Fighter 4, Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Killer Instinct, BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, The King of Fighters 13 and Injustice: Gods Among Us. Capcom's official "Capcom Fighters" stream on Twitch has you covered for all the Ultra Street Fighter 4 matches, while Shoryuken offers two streams to cover the remaining games: SRKEvo1 and the similarly-titled SRKEvo2.

The official Twitch streaming schedule offers a full rundown of what games will be shown. Today is a dominated by Ultra Street Fighter 4, Tekken and Injustice, but tomorrow features the more esoteric King of Fighters, Killer Instinct and BlazBlue tournaments.
[Image: Capcom]

Destiny beta grants three download codes for each player

Platform selection for the Destiny beta is live today. The beta itself is still a few days out, but eager Guardians are already getting some good news: Beta participants will be given three download codes for the platform of their choice. Whether you're planning to play on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 or PS4, you'll be able to fight wizards from the moon with two buddies, whether they've pre-ordered the game or not. Talk about viral marketing...

If you haven't done so already, you can redeem your 9-digit pre-order code at Bungie.net/beta, after which you can select your platform. The beta kicks off on PS4 and PS3 starting July 17, followed by Xbox 360 and Xbox One on July 23.

Oh, and if you haven't pre-ordered Destiny, keep an eye on Joystiq. We'll be giving away hundreds of beta codes in the very near future (no, really).
[Image: Bungie]

WRUP: What are your '10 Years, 10 Great Games' ?



In celebration of our tenth anniversary, all this week the Joystiq crew have been sharing our 10 favorite games of the past 10 years. You can watch all of the top picks from the Joystiq staff in the YouTube playlist above. Now let's hear yours!

Here are the rules we had to follow:

1) Yes, they must be from 2004-2014.
2) No remakes, reissues, HD remixes, etc. The original version of the game must be from the past decade.

Share your top ten after the break or just let us know what you're playing this weekend.

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10 Years, 10 Great Games: Ludwig's picks

Throughout the week, Joystiq celebrates its tenth anniversary by revealing each writer's favorite - not "best" - games of the last decade. Aside from selecting a number one, each list is unordered.

To close out the Joystiq staff's picks for favorite games of the last decade, Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann ventures to a beautiful and peaceful land and proceeds to destroy every living creature.

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Joystiq Streams: CounterSpy sneaks onto PlayStation 4

No Luddy does it better/Makes me feel sad for the rest/No Luddy does it half as good as you/Baby, you're the best/I wasn't looking for video games/I tried to read a book/But like Heaven above me/The spy named Luddy/Is playing all my PS4 games tonight

CounterSpy is appropriately named. Dynamighty's stealthy blend of sneaking, shooting, and bananas pop art for PS3 and PS Vita quietly disarmed E3 2013 attendees and then disappeared for months and months. In June, it popped back up at E3 2014 and joined the PlayStation 4 library looking every bit as slick as before. When will we get our mitts on a sweet finished version of the game? Unknown, but today Joystiq is getting an early look on a very special Joystiq Streams.

Starting at 2PM EST, Joystiq's Ludwig Kietzmann will be streaming CounterSpy alongside Dynamighty co-founder David Nottingham. Enemy bases will be infiltrated, martinis will be shaken provided a tumbler is available, and everyone hanging out in the chat will get a look at the one of the most promising PS4 games no one's talking about yet.

Tune it at Joystiq.com/Twitch at 2PM EST!
[Image: Sony]

Super Joystiq Podcast 104: Star Citizen, Alien Isolation, Divinity Original Sin, PlayStation Plus

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This week's Super Joystiq Podcast is thinking about bringing a classic theme song back as a pre-order bonus.

Real, true, big games. Sorry Willy Beamish. Ludwig, Xav, Alexander, and Sinan convene to cover the week's big release, classic-style computer role-playing game Divinity: Original Sin. The guys also talk about their excitement at word of the original Alien cast returning for Alien: Isolation DLC, and Xav shares some thoughts on Star Citizen after putting some time into the dogfighting module. And if that's not enough, here are some non game-specific topics in-store: discussion of the top 10 games of the past decade feature, lamenting of broken Obsidian RPGs, appreciation for good voice acting, and so much more!

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

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Joystiq Discussion: Should consoles have early access games?

The age of early access is upon us! No longer the domain of PCs, the alpha build is becoming a central tenet of the modern game industry, even on consoles. "We have a global strike team, plus an SCEA strike team, who are in charge of trying to figure out how to look at what's happening with early alpha access, or paid betas," explained Adam Boyes, Sony VP of developer relations, in a new interview with Gamasutra.

The merits of early access game design are plain. The risk of prolonged game development is mitigated by an influx of consumer cash before the game's even complete. What's more, an audience can be built gradually over time rather than all at once through sheer force of marketing.

Early access design is, however, contrary to the spirit of game consoles. The whole point of a game console is ease of use and standardized quality. They are not PCs, variable and in need of constant tweaking, so games should presumably be ready to go as soon as you put it in the disc slot or have it installed. Even in the decade since Xbox 360 brought beta testing, DLC, and content patches to the consoles, that's remained true. Does early access gaming have a place on consoles?

Take our poll and discuss in the comments.
[Images: Mojang]

10 Years, 10 Great Games: Xav's picks

Throughout the week, Joystiq celebrates its tenth anniversary by revealing each writer's favorite - not "best" - games of the last decade. Aside from selecting a number one, each list is unordered.

For his top selection, Feature Content Director Xav de Matos discusses the industrywide implications that have evolved out of the release of a shooter sequel in 2004.

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Alien: Isolation pre-order DLC available separately 'at a later date'


The Creative Assembly moved to answer concern regarding its newly revealed pre-order DLC for Alien: Isolation by confirming the content will be available separately after release.

Earlier in the week, Sega revealed the content starring the cast of the original film would be tied to pre-orders, with one of the two DLC missions, "Last Survivor," only available at GameStop in the US. However, the news drew disapproval from some quarters, with many dismayed to see substantial content limited to pre-orders and used to promote them.

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Put your hands together for Skullgirls Encore on PS4, Vita

Lab Zero revealed Skullgirls Encore is set to make another encore, this time on PS4 and PS Vita. The reborn edition of the 2D fighter is due to arrive later this year, with all Indiegogo-funded DLC characters, stages and story content included. Additionally, the Vita version works on PlayStation TV with local multiplayer support for two DualShock 3/4 controllers.

Lab Zero said it'll have more info on features and pricing info closer to launch - that includes if the PlayStation ports have cross-buy and/or cross-save support. In the interim, players on the game's current platforms can look forward to receiving the third free DLC character, Eliza, later this summer. For an early look at the imperious Egyptian, check out Lab Zero's work-in-progress video below the break.

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Final Fantasy Explorers sets off in Japan this winter

Square Enix announced it's bringing mulitplayer 3DS RPG Final Fantasy Explorers to Japan sometime this winter. The publisher showcased the upcoming game at the start of today's Japan-only Nintendo Direct broadcast, which you can replay here.

First revealed last month, Final Fantasy Explorers combines the series' tropes with four-player co-operative action. For one, the game features classic jobs, including the tank-like Knight, close-combat Monk, and more self-explanatory Black and White Mages. As today's Direct showed, adventurers have to take on monsters big and small in the game, including some familiar summons. Again, Square Enix showcased the heroes doing battle with Ifrit in what looks like his Final Fantasy X form.

Final Fantasy Explorers remains unconfirmed for Western release, despite Square Enix recently trademarking its name in North America and Europe.
[Image: Square Enix]

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate coming to Japan in October


In Japan, Capcom slapped a release date on Monster Hunter 4G today, provoking millions of the country's 3DS owners to circle October 11 in their calendars. The expanded version of the 3DS action RPG is the same one headed west as MH4 Ultimate, bringing the game to North America and Europe for the first time when it hits in early 2015.

As we saw at E3, among other things Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings jump attacks to the game with the Insect Glaive. The new weapon allows adventurers to propel themselves skywards, pogo-stick style, which sounds like way too much fun. Players who successfully pull off a jump attack enough times can then literally take monsters for a ride by climbing on top of it to inflict more damage.
[Image: Capcom]

Limited edition Frozen PS4 only announced for Japan, let it go

If you're a fan of Disney's animated musical Frozen, the sight of Sony's new limited edition PS4 might make you want to sing with joy - give us a sec to get the earplugs. Unfortunately it's currently limited to Japan, where the Frozen-covered system will be available on July 16 for 42,980 yen (around $424). If you're wondering, the answer is no, it doesn't come with a copy of Frozen - that would make too much sense.

If you're surprised to see Frozen of all things on a PS4 in Japan of all places, the film's been the country's box office number one for the 16 weeks prior to this one. The film that finally toppled it? Disney's Maleficent.
[Image: Sony]

Replay Japan's Nintendo Direct on third-party 3DS games [update]

Update: If you missed it earlier, we've now got the replay below the break. As for the news, Capcom announced Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is coming to Japan on October 11, while Final Fantasy Explorers sets foot in the country sometime this winter.

E3 has come and gone, but the Nintendo Direct train is definitely up and running again in Japan. Today's stream is the second Direct broadcast in the country this month, hot on the heels of one dedicated to Level-5 RPG Yo-Kai Watch 2.

Like the Yo-Kai Watch 2 Direct, today's broadcast on 3DS games from third-party publishers is Japan-only. There aren't simultaneous videos in North America and Europe, so maybe we shouldn't expect any big announcements. Then again, I've said stuff like that before in Nintendo Direct posts only to be proven very, very wrong. Either way, we should see some footage of 3DS games that haven't been announced for the West, maybe including Dragon Quest X.

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Humble Weekly: Stacking, Edge of Space, Windforge

This Humble Weekly Bundle is a lot like an onion (or an ogre, or a cake) – it has a few layers. First note: It's hosted by Gamepedia and Curse.

Available to pick up for any price you want is Windforge, Stacking, ReignMaker (plus its inspiration, Tower of Elements), Paranautical Activity and a key for the Strife closed beta. Pay $6 or more and get Darkout, Signs of Life and a 30-day subscription to Curse Premium, a service that grants users perks on Curse-owned websites. Throw down $10 or more and snag Lifeless Planet and Edge of Space.

For $36 or more, you'll also get the "Indie Appreciation Pack," which includes a t-shirt, a Curse wristband, and Curse and Gamepedia vinyl stickers.

Money spent on this week's Humble Bundle benefits, in part, the IndieCade Foundation and First Book, a nonprofit that provides new books and educational supplements to children and areas in need.
[Image: Humble Bundle]

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