Destiny later this year, complete with flashy superpowers and an arsenal of weaponry that further convinces us of how awesome the future will be. And with Mass Effect undoubtedly coming along and the whole Star Wars thing, it feels like a pretty great time to be a sci-fi fan. Whether you want to watch a saga play out or guide its progression, you'll probably have some great choices consuming your life in the near future.
Of course, it's possible that the collective sci-fi genre bores you, which is why we brought you this fresh edition of the Joystiq Weekly. Yes, there's a slew of Destiny-flavored video content, but there's also a glimpse of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, reviews for Child of Light and Mario Golf: World Tour, and an exploration of Microsoft's original content plans for Xbox. You can read up on these stories and more after the break!
- We can't really feign surprise about a new Call of Duty game, but we can find it surprising that Kevin Spacey is leading the evil-doers in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Between slices of action that you'd expect from the series, Spacey's character spends a trailer brooding over what civilizations want, discarding the idea of establishing democracies. Advanced Warfare is due out on November 4, which is probably a little late to reach the Game Boy Advance.
- Sony is selling plenty of PS4s, but its greater business is still in a bit of trouble. The company downgraded forecasts for the fiscal year that ended on March 31, partially to account for an expected 30 billion yen loss related to its departure from the PC business. There's also an expected 25 billion yen to be drained by "impairment charges" related to Sony's disc manufacturing business, which is declining faster than expected, especially in Europe.
- Nintendo knows some of its fans are waiting for Mario Kart 8 to launch before picking up a Wii U, so they've decided to make it easier for everyone involved - a $330 bundle will pack a 32GB Wii U, a copy of Mario Kart 8, a Wii Remote Plus and a red Wiimote steering wheel all into the same box. Registering Mario Kart 8's Club Nintendo code will also gift fans a free download of Pikmin 3, The Wind Waker HD, New Super Mario Bros. U or Wii Party U.
- There's plenty of interest in the Oculus Rift, especially considering Facebook's $2 billion purchase of the tech's creator, Oculus VR. Since Doom creator John Carmack worked with Oculus during his employment at ZeniMax however, ZeniMax now believes it's entitled to "ownership of key technology used by Oculus" in relation to the Oculus Rift. Carmack has responded to the dispute, explaining that ZeniMax owns the code he wrote during his employment, but not the VR technology itself.
- Nintendo will earn its non-conformist status once more by passing up a live conference at this year's E3. We'll instead be given information through a Nintendo Digital Event, with the Nintendo Treehouse also livestreaming unscripted game demos from Nintendo's E3 booth throughout the show.
- Just because Nintendo won't provide the spectacle of a liveshow doesn't mean their E3 presence won't be involving for fans. A Super Smash Bros. Invitational Tournament will be held during E3 in the Nokia Theater, but fans across the country will still be able to play a round by visiting to-be-announced Best Buy locations from June 10 - 12.
- Dark Souls series developer From Software will be acquired by Kadokawa Corporation on May 21. While Kadokawa Corp. mostly deals with publishing manga, its subsidiary, Kadokawa Games, published the Japanese versions of Lollipop Chainsaw and Killer Is Dead. Considering the deal will supply more resources to From Software, it seems like this is the one piece of Dark Souls news that doesn't mean anyone should prepare to die. Probably.
- Unconvinced that Telltale Games won't mangle Game Of Thrones in the studio's developing take on George R.R. Martin's fantasy series? Rest easy - Martin's personal assistant, Ty Corey Franck, has been assigned to assist Telltale as the project's story consultant. Aside from getting Martin himself to step in, we imagine this is the best form of collaborative help fans could have asked for. Of course, it probably won't do anything to spare our future favorite characters from a gruesome demise.
- Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes is definitely coming to last-generation consoles and the PS4 and Xbox One, presumably because Disney would like to sell some more of those toy starter packs. The sequel and its superhero-themed toy lineup may debut in September, though it's worth remembering that a previous date of August was shared by an official source before being retracted.
- Ubisoft has detailed the contents of Watch Dogs' $19.99 season pass, so don't worry about hacking into its servers to get the details. The pass grants a one-week headstart to a mini-campaign starring T-Bone, a supporting character in Watch Dogs, as well as three extra missions and five alternate costumes. There's also an exclusive "Untouchables" pack, which dresses protagonist Aiden as a 1920s gangster, compete with Tommy gun.
- Some horror games are great during an initial playthrough, but struggle to keep players feeling threatened while revisiting environments they've already explored. The procedurally-generated Daylight attempts to remedy this by switching up its layout with each playthrough, but Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell found the result to be "good for a few well-executed scares" and not much else. Beyond that, Richard found inconsistencies in Daylight's slew of story-related dates, making the goal of piecing together the story feel confusing and underwhelming.
- Mario Golf: World Tour, the most recent leg in Mario's expansive sports tour, teed off on the 3DS this week. Contributing Editor Andrew Hayward notes there's a slice to developer Camelot's swing, however: Andrew described World Tour's Castle Club mode as a "superficial" replacement for RPG elements found in the series' previous handheld entries. Poorly-planned camera angles occassionally surface as well, pairing with a lack of new features to leave World Tour feeling like a "too-conservative approach, as if notching par was the only end goal."
- Managing Editor Susan Arendt took flight in Child of Light, finding "glorious and inventive" environments, but also an absence of soul. Though its timeline-based battle system and craftable, stat-boosting Oculi materials work well enough, Susan struggled to find anything in Child of Light to make her care about its journey. Susan expects that future players will enjoy their time with Child of Light "and then put it away and never think about it ever again."
- Kirby: Triple Deluxe adds a few new moves to the pink puffball's enemy-inspired bag of tricks. Contributing Editor Danny Cowan appreciated the 3DS outing's variety, found in both its moveset and level design, adding that its plane-switching mechanic adds a "puzzle-like" feel to the sidescrolling action. Despite a few ho-hum minigames and a finale that retreads earlier experiences, Danny found Triple Deluxe to be "one of the finest Kirby adventures to date."
- After visiting Bungie to see a new portion of its social-focused shooter, Destiny, Richard and Weekend Editor Thomas Schulenberg shared their thoughts in our video preview. While the concept seems comparable to the Borderlands series, Richard explains that Destiny's action is more reminiscent of the Halo series than anything in the shoot-n-loot genre. The pair also discuss the social aspects that are meant to help Destiny stand apart from its competitors.
- Richard and Bungie COO Pete Parsons took a break from running Strike missions to discuss the development of Destiny in our video interview. Richard and Pete cover the challenges involved in creating a new world to captivate players and what the game does differently than other MMO-esque experiences. For our most patient viewers, there's also a development update for "Pimps At Sea."
- The Halo series has a decorated legacy, and there are plenty of real-world weapon replicas drawing homage from its universe. Where does all of that stuff end up? Well, a good portion of it is on display in Bungie's lobby, which you can visit virtually by watching our video tour. Beyond Halo's weapons and the related shelves of awards, Bungie saved space to pay tribute to its earlier days, including the Marathon and Myth series.
- Some may make fun of Microsoft's increased focus on TV, but Microsoft sees your Xbox-fueled Netflix binges and it would like you to devote that time to Xbox Originals instead. Editor-in-Chief Ludwig Kietzmann attended an event concerning the to-be-aired projects of Xbox Entertainment Studios, an effort focused on making content for Xbox Live users. Ludwig covers the plans Microsoft has announced so far, but points out that plenty has yet to be decided.
- Exclusive third party launches certainly aren't frequent on the Wii U, but Curve Studios told us that Stealh Inc 2 will slink its way onto the eShop later this year. Curve explained their decision to us, citing a strong relationship with Nintendo and the leaner scope of competition awaiting them on the eShop in comparison to other digital marketplaces.
- We just got the conclusion to Lightning's trilogy this year, but Ludwig has been spending his time with the revisited Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD. Ludwig explores what Tidus' journey introduced to the series, including voice acting for key narrative moments and the Sphere Grid, an alternate take on character growth.
- Ludwig, Susan, Danny, Richard and Community Manager Anthony John Agnello have manipulated the magic of the Internet, and the result is another episode of the Super Joystiq Podcast. The group cover the freshly-reviewed Child Of Light and Kirby: Triple Deluxe, but they also touch on Destiny and get into the "Top 3 Final Fantasy Games" debate.