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Mythbusters meet their Doom on January 31

After more than a decade of debunking myths in reality, the Mythbusters are taking aim at the virtual world, specifically id Software's seminal first-person shooter Doom.

The January 31 episode of the hit Discovery Channel series will feature Jamie and Adam examining the game alongside id Software creative director Tim Willits. While it's not feasible to properly test the game's premise by dropping the hosts into a Martian portal to hell, the show still plans to determine whether or not a person could simultaneously tote all the weapons, ammo, armor and gas-powered lawn care implements seen in the game. Additionally, with Willits' assistance and the significant special effects experience of the Mythbusters team, the show will feature a real-world replica of a level from the hit shooter.

You can find more details on Mythbusters at the series' website, and you can find this upcoming Doom-themed episode by tuning into the Discovery Channel on January 31 at 9PM (8PM for those in the Central Time Zone).
[Image: Bethesda]

Ken Levine hints at new first-person sci-fi adventure

BioShock creator Ken Levine recently let slip on Twitter that he's working on a new game, and that he'd be happy to answer questions. Levine offers no solid details on the project, but we do learn a few basics.

According to Levine, the game is set in an original universe and he's currently leaning toward a first-person perspective for players. This plot is sci-fi ("or sci-fi-ish," as Levine describes it), and the scope of the game will be "large-ish," but will rely heavily on story and gameplay elements that can be repeatedly recombined with one another in interesting ways - a design principle Levine dubs "narrative Legos."

Those expecting further details soon are likely to be disappointed. Levine claims his team has no intention of showing the game at this year's E3 conference, and the game has only barely begun development. "Stuff in engine. Very rudimentary gameplay. Concept art. Passion system in code. A working board game to demonstrate passions," Levine offers when asked how development of the game is progressing.

However, there is progress on one front: After nearly a year, Levine believes he is close to coming up with a name for the small studio he formed after laying off over 90 percent of the employees at Irrational Games.
[Image: Wikimedia]

Five Nights At Freddy's 3 seeks your Greenlight approval

Three months after Five Nights At Freddy's 2, developer Scott Cawthon wants players to return to his dark world of murderous animatronic creatures, but first he needs approval from Steam Greenlight.

To entice fans, Cawthon has released the above teaser. It tells us little of Five Nights At Freddy's 3, but it does suggest that the game's tone and setting seem to remain the same. And, of course, fuzzy killers are involved. Beyond that, and a few new images suggesting new environments, the game is a mystery.

For those who are baffled by all of this, Five Nights At Freddy's 3 will mark the latest entry in a line of games that has (so far) centered around a security guard assigned to protect a Chuck E. Cheese-esque pizza parlor after it closes. As you correctly surmised during childhood, the animatronic creatures that entertain kids over pizza by day become bloodthirsty monsters at night, and each of the Five Nights At Freddy's games boils down to the player's lonely attempt to survive until dawn while fuzzy murder beasts stalk the shadows. It relies on very simple mechanics and plentiful jump scares to create a sense of tension, and these unabashedly cheap scares have made the Five Nights At Freddy's games a hit among YouTube viewers who enjoy watching other people shriek in fear at the sight of a giant, anthropomorphic bird lady.

If you'd like to throw your support behind Five Nights At Freddy's 3 you can do so by visiting Steam Greenlight.
[Image: Scott Cawthon]

Joystiq Deals: Last chance for OSTraining

This week is your last chance to take advantage of a steep discount on a collection of OSTraining courses via Joystiq Deals. From now through Sunday, you can get access to over 1,800 tech training videos for only $79, giving you the chance to learn and master WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, SEO, HTML, CSS, PHP, and more.

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.

Guilty Gear Xrd arcade to receive console-exclusive fighters

In a recent Japanese-language update, developer Arc System Works reveals plans to add the console exclusive characters of Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- to the fighting game's arcade incarnation.

According to a translation by the fighting game devotees at Shoryuken, an update for the arcade game will be released that will both balance the game to more closely mimic its console counterpart and add three new fighters: Sin Kiske, Leo Whitefang and Elphelt Valentine. Sin is an unlockable playable character in the console game, while Leo and Elphelt were both added to Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- as separate DLC characters after launch.

Arc System Works offers no word on when it plans to launch the update.

Lumines changes hands, returning on iOS and Android

Mobcast acquired the Lumines and Meteos properties from Q Entertainment, the Japanese smartphone game developer announced this week, as translated by Gematsu. Additionally, a new Lumines game is on the way for iOS and Android, and will be a collaboration with the colorful puzzle series' creator, Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

Mizuguchi will work on the latest Lumines at his new California-based studio, Enhance Games. The Rez and Space Channel 5 creator co-founded Q Entertainment in 2003 following his departure from Sega. Mizuguchi left the developer in March. The last Lumines game to launch was 2012's Lumines: Electronic Symphony (seen above).

Square Enix action, stealth triple packs head to North America

Square Enix is preparing to launch the Ultimate Action Triple Pack and Ultimate Stealth Triple Pack for PS3 and Xbox 360 in North America this year, according to listings on Amazon spotted by @Wario64. The Action Triple Pack includes Tomb Raider, Just Cause 2 and Sleeping Dogs; the Stealth Triple Pack features Thief, Hitman: Absolution and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Each bundle is $30 and available for pre-order. The release date – December 31, 2015 – is most likely a placeholder.

The Stealth and Action triple packs launched in Europe last year for £30 / €40 each. We've reached out to Square Enix for clarification on the release date.
[Image: Square Enix]

North American Tetris player achieves Grand Master rank

Tetris wizard and Twitch streamer KevinDDR has reached the notoriously difficult-to-achieve Grand Master ranking in Arika's Tetris: The Grand Master 3, becoming the first player in North America to receive the honor. An archive of the event as it happened is available here.

To be considered for the Grand Master Promotional Exam, players must achieve a "GM"-quality rank during the majority of their last several Master mode playthroughs. GM rank demands that players fulfill many difficult requirements and reach the game's maximum drop speed level by clearing several dozen lines in under seven minutes. During the Promotional Exam, a Grand Master in training must complete one final challenge: playing a minute's worth of Tetris atop a credit scroll with pieces that turn invisible when dropped.

Grand Master rank has previously been achieved by only five players in Japan, and KevinDDR is the first Tetris devotee in the United States to join the elite. His skills were showcased during the Awesome Games Done Quick 2015 charity marathon earlier this year.

Rock out with your Spotify out on PlayStation

Happy clap, happy clap! Music service Spotify is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 this spring, but the best part is you'll be able to have your songs playing in the background while gaming. The PlayStation Blog also mentions that folks will be able to sign up to the service using their PlayStation Network ID.

The Spotify service will be available in 41 markets. With that said, prior to the launch of Spotify, Sony's Music Unlimited service will close in all 19 countries on March 29, 2015. Sony mentions, "Nearly all of these countries will be among the 41 markets where PlayStation Music featuring Spotify will be available at launch, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil."

Spotify is an ad-supported music service in its free version, with premium options beginning at $10 monthly. The company also recently added family plans for multiple users. This is a very cool addition to PlayStation for Spotify's 15 million paying subscribers and over 60 million active users.

Dial 868-HACK on Steam, steal data

Independent developer Michael Brough launched a PC and Mac version of his strategy game 868-HACK on Steam this week. The brightly-colored roguelike previously arrived on iOS in August 2013. In it, players "steal precious data while the world sleeps," solving mainframe-hacking puzzles in a cyberspace environment. The game costs $5.65 for PC and Mac users, a few cents cheaper than its iOS counterpart.

Brough crafted a number of games over the years, though one that recently caught our attention was his single-screen action game Helix for iOS. Be sure to check out our video of Brough's hectic avoidance game in action after watching the developer's bizarre trailer for 868-HACK above.
[Image: Michael Brough]

PSN Store Update: Phrasing!

Alright, let's talk about dying lights, grim fandangos and how life is strange. No, not that recent rumor, silly-billy! We're totally referring to this week's new releases on the PlayStation Store, which include Techland's Dying Light ($60), the Grim Fandango remaster ($15) and the debut episode of teen drama Life is Strange ($5).

All three of those are on PS4, while you'll also find Life is Strange on PS3 and Grim Fandango on Vita. By the by, Grim Fandango is cross-buy; if you buy it on PS4 you'll unlock it on Vita for free, and vice versa. Meanwhile, Life is Strange won't be available until Friday, January 30.

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Shelter 2 'Cuteness' trailer is all about the lynx kitten fuzzies

Image Joystiq Trivia: Every morning I send Managing Editor Susan Arendt a cat gif to kick off the day. Like all good people, we share a love of cat gifs. This morning, I'm just sending her this aptly titled "Cuteness in Shelter 2" trailer. Because: d'awwww, lynx kittens. The wildlife survial sim a... Continue Reading

1.84M New 3DS units shipped in 2014, Wii U up to 9.2M

The New 3DS is off to a "good start" according to Nintendo, after the enhanced handheld shipped 1.84 million units by the end of 2014. The company launched the New 3DS and its XL variant in Japan back in October, before bringing them to Australia the following month.

The New 3DS' arrival helped take the "3DS family" beyond the 50 million mark, and as of December 31, 2014, the 3DS total is 50.41 million units shipped worldwide. On the other hand, Nintendo says 3DS sales haven't grown sufficiently in North America and Europe this fiscal year; both regions are waiting for the New 3DS to launch there next month. Between April and December 2014, Nintendo shifted 7.08 million 3DS systems worldwide.

While the Wii U has gathered steam in recent months, it's still tracking a long way behind its handheld sibling. Nintendo shifted 1.91 million consoles worldwide during the busy holiday quarter of October to December 2014, taking its nine-month figures to 3.39 million, As of the end of 2014, its two-year lifetime total is 9.2 mllion systems and 52.87 million software units.

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Nintendo: Sales tracking below forecasts, weak yen drives profit

Nintendo reduced its annual sales forecast by 6.8 percent today, leading to a 50 percent drop in the projected operating profit for its core business. Nonetheless, the ever-weakening state of the yen is balancing that out by boosting the company's overseas earnings.

According to its revised forecast, Nintendo now expects to earn a net profit of ¥30 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, which converts to around $255 million. That's up 50 percent from the company's previous projections, and a sharp contrast to the $229 million loss posted the previous fiscal year.

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Expect two new series from Feminist Frequency in 2015

Controversial games critic and YouTube star Anita Sarkeesian has outlined plans to launch two new web series in 2015, while continuing to produce her popular Feminist Frequency videos.

According to the report (.pdf), Sarkeesian's non-profit organization (also named "Feminist Frequency") has plans for two new productions, a "video series examining the representations of men and masculinity in video games" and a "miniseries presenting examples of positive female characters in video games." No further details on either series are mentioned, but the report does state that Sarkeesian and her colleagues will continue their work as vocal advocates for gender equality in virtual culture.

These burgeoning plans follow a successful year for Feminist Frequency in which the group attracted over $400,000 in donations and Sarkessian's efforts were featured in media outlets ranging from Joystiq to the New York Times. She even appeared on one of the final episodes of The Colbert Report to discuss her work and her many, many online detractors.
[Image: Feminist Frequency]


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The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 128: Reviews, New Nintendo 3DS, Majora's Mask 3D

Latest episode: Friday, January 16th, 2015

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