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Devs can now offer trials, games in same download on Xbox One

Being able to sample content from digital storefronts is one of the more compelling advantages of shopping digitally. Trial-sized portions of games could be sampled on the Xbox 360 by downloading Xbox Live Arcade titles, which could then be used to unlock the full game without an additional download, but multi-purpose downloads haven't appeared on the Xbox One. That has the potential to change, according to Eurogamer's interview with ID@Xbox Program Director Chris Charla.

While demoes and full games are generally separate downloads on Xbox One, the option to offer both in the same file is something that's been "recently turned on," Charla said. "I don't think we've seen any ID@Xbox games yet that have shipped with trials, but we may well in the future. It's something that's open to everybody."

The switch should make browsing for new games to play a bit easier, should developers choose to use the feature. Speaking of making things easier, Microsoft's idea of allowing any Xbox One to be used as a dev kit would certainly lower the barrier of entry for game development, but we're still waiting on details beyond the concept.
[Image: Microsoft]

Weekly Webcomic Wrapup is chillin' out, relaxin' all cool

Earlier this week, I took a bit of a mini-vacation. Nothing big or expensive, just a day-trip to see Grandma and jump in the lake with the puppy, Balto. I also got to eat at my very favorite restaurant, and stuff my face full of spicy tacos topped with plenty of lime juice and extra cilantro. Mmm! By the time I got back home, I was ready and raring for just about anything; I felt super energetic and full of warm, fuzzy feelings.

Sometimes, I think we all need a little day-vay-cay (that's short for "day-vacation," feel free to use it at your next party or social gathering) to recharge our batteries. Even if we don't go somewhere out of the way, just a pit stop at your favorite buffet line can do wonders. So tell me: what's your favorite way to break the tension and get away from it all? Where do you go to get an extra bounce put back into your step? Share your secrets of zen in the comments, after you vote for this week's favorite webcomic!

Penny Arcade (Marxio Kart)
Hejibits (Smoldered Shenanigans)
Critical Miss (An Occupational Hazard)
ReadySoup (Friendship is Manic)
Brawl in the Family (Mii...?)
The Gamercat (Model Citizen)

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Cave Story 3D spelunking on 3DS eShop this year

It's not impossible to track down a physical copy of Cave Story 3D, but unless you're willing to shell out $80 for a sealed version, you're kinda stuck hunting for a copy that isn't in a cracked or insert-less case. If you're set on exploring the adventure's 3D-visual remake on the 3DS, there's always another option: waiting for its eShop release, which Nicalis founder Tyrone Rodriguez has said is due for North American and Europe later this year. While Rodriguez didn't discuss pricing, it's bound to be cheaper than its physical, out-of-print counterpart.

Of course, you could always sidestep waiting by getting Cave Story+ on Steam or the 3DS eShop's 2D version of Cave Story, which runs for $9.99.
[Image: Nicalis]

PS Plus subscribers get free Powers in December

The PlayStation Network will be bitten by a radioactive crime drama series later this year; Powers, a live-action adaptation of the comic of the same name, will be available via the PSN starting in December, with the debut episode available for free. Meanwhile, PlayStation Plus subscribers will be able to view the entire series at no charge.

David Slade (Hannibal, Breaking Bad) will direct the first two episodes of the show, which focuses on detectives who investigate cases involving people with superhuman powers. The original comic, published by Image until 2004 and currently by Marvel, is written by Brian Michael Bendis (Ultimate Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy) and illustrated by Michael Avon Oeming (Judge Dredd, Catwoman).
[Image: Marvel]

Pikachu dresses fancy for Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire

Oh no. Oh no. No no no no no. Japanese magazine CoroCoro, you did not just reveal that Pikachu - and potentially other pokemon - will be able to wear various ensembles in the upcoming Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire. And Serebii, you did not take scans of that magazine and post them for all to see. Sure, we're not sure how this will factor into the eventual gameplay, but it's still a pokemon wearing a bonnet - isn't that enough?

Nintendo, you must stop this. For the sake of productivity across the global work force, we beg of you: don't let us dress our pokemon in adorable outfits.

OH NO LOOK AT THAT ONE, HE'S WEARING A LITTLE LUCHADOR COSTUME OH GOD
[Image: The Pokemon Company]

Entwined coming to PS3, Vita in 'very near future'

Entwined's pursuit of love is beautiful and challenging, but with Vita and PS3 versions on the way, it's about to add "portable" to its list of adjectives. Developer Pixelopus' Dominic Robilliard posted an introspective of the twin-stick matchmaker on the PlayStation Blog, which concluded by mentioning Pixelopus' intention to get both versions to fans "in the very near future."

Weekend Editor Sam Prell's review notes that Entwined's strengths lie in its "sense of serenity and peace" rather than competing on leaderboards, which sounds like a healthy mindset for a relationship-focused game. Still, Prell noticed a problematic hiccup with Entwined's visuals when an attempt to pair its characters is botched: it's something that "persists for only a fraction of a second, but it makes lining up your targets difficult, and is enough of an annoyance that it becomes frustrating."
[Image: Pixelopus]

Sega's plans for Wii U Virtual Console are non-existent

The age-old rivalry between Sega and Nintendo may be all but over, but that doesn't mean the two companies are sharing everything with each other. Case in point: the distinct lack of Sega games on the Wii U Virtual Console. Case in sad point: that situation may not change anytime soon, if ever.

In response to a Twitter user's question about plans to bring Sega games to the Wii U Virtual Console, Yosuke Okunari - a company producer who has worked on 3DS conversions of classics like Outrun and Space Harrier - said plainly that "there are no such plans." Not all hope was dashed however, as Okunari suggested the fan make their desires known to Sega West.

So the bad news is the Wii U Virtual Console shall be sorely lacking Sega favorites like Sonic The Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Altered Beast or - let's face it, everyone's favorite - Vectorman, at least for now. The good news is you can still play most games released for the original Wii's Virtual Console by going through the Wii U's emulation software by selecting the "Wii Menu" channel on the console's start menu. You'll have to use a Wii Remote or Classic controller to play the thing, and you won't have access to that game's Miiverse or off-TV options like you would if it were native to the Wii U Virtual Console, but technically you can still play.

So on the bright side, you're not actually missing out on access to some of these games, it's just time-consuming and inconvenient! Yay?
[Image: Sega]

Report: Homefront: The Revolution's game director resigns

Homefront: The Revolution's future looks increasingly uncertain, judging by Kotaku's report that Hasit Zala has resigned from his role as Revolution's game director at Crytek UK. Kotaku's sources added that development manager Ben Harris left the studio this month, which is reflected by his LinkedIn profile listing the role as a past work experience. The report states that other unnamed employees have either left or are openly looking for work with other companies at this time.

Zala's supposed departure follows a previous report that more than 30 employees have left Crytek UK since Revolution's development began in 2011, with departures supposedly being due to late payments. German magazine GameStar reported in June that Crytek was nearing bankruptcy, which was met with a denial from Crytek: "The information in those reports and in the GameStar article itself are rumors which Crytek deny."
[Image: Crytek UK]

Pull off combos, mashes with the Razer Atrox for Xbox One

With details of Killer Instinct's second season coming in, it'd make sense if you've considered picking up a fight stick for the Xbox One. Lucky for you, Razer just revealed the Razer Atrox at EvO 2014, a $199.99 build that uses buttons and joysticks manufactured by Sanwa.

The Atrox comes with a detachable 13-foot USB cable, a screwdriver and an alternate, bat-shaped top for its joystick, all of which can be stored in an internal storage space. You won't be stuck looking at the Razer logo while pouring hours into your favorite fighter either – the Atrox's top plate can be swapped out for art of your preference, and the bottom of its internal compartment uses honeycomb plating, meaning you can mount screws wherever you want.

You can read up on the Atrox's specs on its listing page, and if customizing artwork appeals to you, there's a template linked in the "Fully mod capable construction" section that should make planning that a bit easier. The Atrox isn't yet available, but you can register for the chance to buy one from Razer's first production run.
[Image: Razer]

Firefall officially heats things up on July 29



Long ago, in the ancient times of 2013, Red 5 Studios MMO Firefall was looking like it would live up to its name, and not in a good way. All PvP had been suspended, and even before things got to that point, the game's Jetball PvP mode was attracting less than three percent of its playerbase. That changes July 29 though, when Firefall exits open beta and experiences its official launch, bringing with it a ton of new content.

First, those interested in blasting their fellow humans in the face should know that PvP will return in the form of an open world tug-of-war featuring resource collection and base captures. The launch update will also open up new areas to explore, which will "quadruple" the size of the environment, according to Red 5 CEO James Macauley. "The update we are releasing for launch will be the largest update we have ever had," Macauley is quoted in a related press release.

Firefall will be free to play upon launch, but if you're desperate to see these new changes sooner, you can purchase an early access pack for $30 or $100, each of which come with a bevvy of in-game goodies.
[Image: Red 5 Studios]

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Pinball Arcade's Season 3 tables reaching PSN, Addams Family Kickstarter coming

Patrons of Pinball Arcade's PlayStation wing are about to have a few new score tallies to rack up, thanks to an incoming batch of tables for Arcade's PS3, PS4 and Vita versions. A PlayStation Blog update from FarSight Studios' Mike Lindsey states that Black Knight 2000, WHO Dunnit, High Speed and Junk Yard will be available in the PS3 and Vita versions' collections on July 15, with a July 22 arrival for the PS4 version.

Even though we're talking about Season 3 content, Season 2 is still coming to PS4, though Lindsey's post didn't offer a release date. Responses to fans did specify that PS4's Season Two tables won't be cross-buy compatible however, so if you're looking to rebuild your collection on your new console, know that you'll pay full price to do so.

Lindsey's update also adds that FarSight has "agreed upon terms with all of the major licenses and clearances" needed to add Bally's Addams Family table to Arcade's collection. Cutting through red tape isn't the same as finding a budget though – FarSight expects to launch a Kickstarter for the project sometime this summer.
[Image: FarSight Studios]

DA: Inquisition meets up with old friends, gives them orders in 13 minutes of gameplay



Dragon Age: Inquisition Creative Director Mike Laidlaw is back with more gameplay footage of BioWare's upcoming fantasy epic, and this time the eye candy is story-flavored. Mmm. While Laidlaw's last walkthrough in the lands of Thedas was focused primarily on combat - including a battle with a huge dragon - this time the Qunari Inquisitor and her crew are out to stop a traitorous mage and a small army of demons. With the help of some familiar faces, of course.

Will our brave heroes make it out alive? Can they stop the nefarious evil-doer's plot? Will Dorian reveal the secret of how he keeps his mustache so fantabulous? Find out on October 7, true believers!
[Image: EA]

'Fruit Ninja Kinect 2' rated by Australian Classification Board

Pretending your limbs are giant, unmerciful blades for food preparation was pretty satisfying in Fruit Ninja Kinect, but if the game's push for conquering high scores has taught us anything, more is always better. That sentiment might amount to something more than movie-themed tie ins, judging by the Australian Classification Board's content rating for "Fruit Ninja Kinect 2."

The rating lists Hibernum as the supposed project's developer, with series creator Halfbrick Studios serving as its publisher. It also describes Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 as a multiplatform release, so hopefully we can serve up fruit-flavored carnage on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. If the game exists, that is.
[Image: Halfbrick]

Amazon queen Maya returns in Killer Instinct season two

Divekick developer Iron Galaxy Studios will re-introduce players to Maya, Queen of the Amazons, when it rolls out the second season of content for Killer Instinct, according to reports from this year's EVO event.

Microsoft community manager Mike Robles tweeted concept art of the dagger-wielding warrior, while GameSpot reports that Iron Galaxy described Maya as a high-risk, high-reward character during the panel where she was unveiled. According to GameSpot's report, Maya's daggers will level up as she lands hits on her opponents, eventually reaching the point where she can throw them as projectiles.

A photo of the presentation also reveals that Maya's design is inspired by the Inca civilization. While the Incas lived on the fringe of the Amazon Basin and not deep in the rainforest, thus making her "Queen of the Amazon" title a bit of a mismatch, we're willing to bet you'll have bigger things to worry about - things like daggers flying at your face - when Killer Instinct season two begins this fall.
[Image: Microsoft]

PlayStation Store Flash Sale offers up 99-cent deals

Surprise sales are always nice, especially when you've got a weekend to spend with whatever you pick up from them. The PlayStation Blog has detailed the PlayStation Store's latest Flash Sale, which offers a range of PSOne and digital-only titles at an impulse-friendly 99 cent pricepoint.

Highlights from recent times include Papo & Yo, Machinarium, Double Dragon Neon and separately-offered PS3 and Vita versions of Thomas Was Alone. There's some love for the original PlayStation's library as well, with Dino Crisis 1 and 2, Legend of Dragoon, Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, Wild Arms 1 and 2 and the Syphon Filter trilogy up for grabs. You could always re-fuel some of your long-standing arcade rivalries with Virtual Fighter 2, too.

If you're a shrewd shopper no matter how low a price is, you've got plenty of time to decide – the Flash Sale runs until 3 p.m. EST on July 14.
[Image: Sony]

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