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Bandai Namco changing name again, adds Entertainment

You know how sometimes a friend will try to come up with an awesome nickname for themselves, but they don't ever seem to stick with it? Kind of like your classmate Robert Pinkleton from fourth grade, who told people to call him "Rob," then "Bob," and finally "Rob Bob"? We wonder if he got a job at Bandai Namco, because less than a year after changing from Namco Bandai to Bandai Namco, the company has declared intent to rename itself again, this time to "Bandai Namco Entertainment."

A press release from Bandai Namco (as translated by Gematsu) states, "This change in our name allows us to redefine the scope of our business as lying not solely just within games, but rather more broadly within entertainment as a whole." You know, so that way people don't get confused and think they're just about games. "In doing so, we seek the continued growth of our company through a new, yet wholly recognizable network that will be utilized for expansion into service and contents ventures."

The name change is scheduled to take effect on April 1, 2015. Wait, really? Okay, we have to ask: Bandai Namco, are you just trolling us now?
[Image: Bandai Namco Entertainment]

SXPD patrols monochromatic panels on Android, iOS devices

In SXPD, a comic book and video game hybrid now available on iOS and Android devices, an all-female police force patrols New Royale, the United States' hidden 52nd (yes, 52nd) state that's owned by the richest man in the country. The Secret Order of the Black Seraphim is among the forces that seek to ruin New Royale, and since the territory lies beyond the nation's conventional authority, the stimulant-supplemented SXPD are the only force capable of countering the Secret Order.

Crimestoppers can help the SXPD out by tackling the game's first chapter after an initial $1.99 download. SXPD's store description notes that after a 99-cent in-app purchase, SXPD offers 42 comic book pages from Duke Mighten (Judge Dredd, Afro Samurai), six chapters of motorbike combat directed by David Perry (designer of Earthworm Jim), six extra arcade playmodes and a challenge that pays tribute to 3D Deathchase, a ZX Spectrum title said to have inspired SXPD.
[Image: Little Chicken Game Company]

This Majora's Mask-inspired Christmas carol is smashing

Image Yeah, so you played - or are at least familiar with the premise of - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and saw where this was going. The video is still smile-worthy! And hey, maybe you can make your own Majora music video when Majora's Mask 3D comes to 3DS in spring 2015. [Image: Nintendo]... Continue Reading

Joystiq Weekly: Telltale takes on Minecraft, Xeodrifter review, broken games and more

Welcome to Joystiq Weekly, a "too long; didn't read" of each week's biggest stories, reviews and original content. Each category's top story is introduced with a reactionary gif, because moving pictures aren't just for The Daily Prophet.
Telltale Games looked at Minecraft's build-what-you-want universe and decided to build an episodic, narrative-driven game instead of a crummy castle like the rest of us. At this point, we wouldn't even be surprised if Telltale Games' next project is a narrative-driven series starring Samuel the rock ... it would probably be well-written, too.

There's a bit more to this week's recap beyond Telltale's latest reveal though, including ports of the last two Devil May Cry games, free games for those that own Assassin's Creed Unity's season pass, a review of Xeodrifter and an assessment of recent high-profile, broken-at-launch games. All that and more is waiting for you after the break in this edition of the Joystiq Weekly!

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Updated Steam Controller design features d-pad

The Steam Controller has already seen a couple tweaks since its initial unveiling, first by adding traditional face buttons, and later supporting an analog thumbstick. Now, it appears that the controller will also feature a directional pad, though in what capacity remains to be seen.

Game Informer uncovered an image file in the Steam Client beta that suggests the Steam Controller will be able to support a d-pad in place of its left-side haptic touch pad. We say "able to support" because this is not an image of an actual, physical controller, and nowhere is it implied that this design will be released to the exclusion of others. The d-pad could be something users install for when they want it, or it could be part of a redesigned haptic touch pad. Who knows?

Valve knows, that's who. And they haven't said anything official on the matter. However, Valve VP of Marketing Doug Lombardi told TechRadar last month that the company will have a large Steam Machines presence at GDC 2015, which begins March 2.
[Image: Valve]

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars updated on iOS, out now on Android

When Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars launched on iOS devices in 2010, it wasn't offered as a universal app, meaning that one purchase wouldn't grant players versions of the game for both iPhone and iPad. Four years later, developer Rockstar Games has fixed that – a new patch has added universal support for iOS 7.0 devices or later to both versions of the game, along with touched-up visuals and MFi controller support.

App Store shoppers will see both versions of Chinatown Warriors, but as Touch Arcade reports, Rockstar will eventually retire the iPad version of the game. Fans that previously purchased the iPad version will have Chinatown Wars and its update in their purchase history, so the streets of Liberty City should remain open to them after Rockstar pulls the iPad build.

Either version of Chinatown Wars is $4.99 on the App Store, and an Android version with "enhanced graphics, lighting and explosion effects" launched earlier this week at the same price.
[Image: Rockstar Games]

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]

The Game Archaeologist: The complete history of classic MMOs

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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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 126: Dying Light, Bloodborne, Evolve, story in games

Latest episode: Friday, December 19th, 2014

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