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Nintendo delists homebrew-enabling 3DS game in Japan

Nintendo has removed AQ Interactive's Nintendo 3DS puzzler Cubic Ninja from Japan's eShop (the only region in which it saw a digital release) after details regarding an in-game exploit were revealed earlier this week.

The exploit, which requires a modified save file and a copy of Cubic Ninja, reportedly enables the use of homebrew games and applications on Nintendo's handheld. It does not currently enable piracy of commercial games -- a widespread issue that plagued the Nintendo DS throughout its lifespan.

After the exploit was announced, used copies of Cubic Ninja shot up in price on eBay, Amazon, and through other third-party sellers. The North American version of the game currently fetches prices in excess of $40 on Amazon, while several recent eBay auctions have ended at over $30. A similar phenomenon spiked Lumines prices when a homebrew-enabling buffer overflow exploit was discovered for Sony's PSP in 2007.

[Image: AQ Interactive]

Mewtwo may become premium DLC for Super Smash Bros.

Nearly one month ago, Nintendo revealed legendary Pokemon Mewtwo as a playable fighter for Super Smash Bros, available only to those that own both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game. Expected to arrive in spring 2015, the downloadable character will be free to the dual-Smash players, but new information on Club Nintendo notes that all players may have access to Mewtwo down the road. While it's no guarantee, the promotion page includes a footnote that the "Mewtwo DLC may be available for purchase in the future," as corroborated by the game's Japanese site.

To make the prospect of purchasing the Pokemon character in Super Smash Bros. cloudier, Game Director Masahiro Sakurai told Video Gamer this week in regards to paid DLC for the games that the development team isn't "working on anything at the moment." Those looking to guarantee that they'll get a download code for Mewtwo will need to register their copies of both Smash Bros. games on Club Nintendo by March 31, 2015. Super Smash Bros. will launch on Wii U tomorrow in North America and November 28 in Europe. For more information on the game, be sure to check out our review.
[Image: Nintendo]

Persona Q review: When worlds collide

3DS

When I began playing Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, I expected it to be a time-biding knockoff of the Persona franchise, meant to placate rabid fans until Persona 5 finally emerges and provides fresh meaning in our lives. (We Persona fans are a little intense, ok?) I admired the super-cute art style and was naturally pleased to see the familiar characters, but a crossover with Atlus' other long-running RPG series, Etrian Odyssey, didn't seem like a good fit, except perhaps as a marketing ploy.

I was completely, totally, utterly wrong. Persona Q is a brilliant game in its own right, more than able to take its place in the Persona lineage, taking the best elements of each franchise and combining them into an addictive, hour-devouring experience.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire

In the case of Nintendo eShop's new releases this week, size does indeed matter. With just a smattering of games on Wii U, one of them a late spring PS4/Xbox One hit and another being an obscure Game Boy Advance curio, you'd think the console would be on shaky ground. Not so. It's got big, big goods. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, with all its 8-player insanity and high definition glory, finally comes home. That's the good news. The bad news is that, unlike the other eShop releases this week, you'll have to wait until Friday, November 21 to play it.

If you have a Nintendo 3DS, though, you can tide yourself over with plenty of other, admittedly slower fights. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire, new 3D remakes of classic GBA Pokemon games are available to download. If you absolutely need to see Charizard burn something on Thursday, they're perfect options.

Poke-shenanigans are the top options on 3DS, but Wii U does have those aforementioned Smash Bros. boosters in the wings. First is the long-awaited, rumored-to-be-cancelled Watch Dogs from Ubisoft. Finally, Wii U Virtual Console gets yet another Game Boy Advance game in its library with puzzle game DK: King of Swing, wherein you swing Donkey Kong around from an overhead view. It's trickier than it sounds.

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Joystiq Deals: Free year of GameFly, free Ouya giveaways

We've got a pair of can't-miss giveaways on offer today at Joystiq Deals. First up is our Year Of Free GameFly Giveaway, a prize package that includes a free year of GameFly's deluxe 2-games-out-at-a-time subscription service (valued at $275).

You'll also want to check out our Triple Crown Ouya Giveaway, which offers up three Ouya consoles free of charge for three lucky winners. You can enter both of today's featured contests by submitting your e-mail address, and you can earn additional entries by referring your friends via Twitter. Good luck!


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.

Super Smash Bros. 3DS patch nerfs Rosalina, hitstun cancels


CLASH Tournaments has released a detailed breakdown of the changes introduced in this week's Version 1.0.4 patch for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, revealing a host of balance changes and tweaks affecting several characters.

Notably, the respawn time for Rosalina's partner character Luma has increased from 8 seconds to roughly 13 seconds, putting Rosalina in greater peril when Luma is knocked out. Peach, Link, and Toon Link no longer have toss canceling abilities, and Diddy Kong and Mega Man are now unable to cancel out of a stunned state by using specific moves. The patch additionally blocks playback of replays recorded using earlier versions of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS.

Other listed tweaks affect Falco, Greninja, Yoshi, and Mr. Game and Watch. Shoryuken details all of the discussed changes here. Our review of the upcoming Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. went live today, and we'll have a final score once online play activates.

[Image: Nintendo]

GameStop plans pre-Black Friday Family Weekend event

Because one day of rampant consumerism just wasn't enough, GameStop has announced plans to launch a weekend-long sales event prior to its already revealed Black Friday sales.

The ubiquitous games retailer has yet to outline its full discount plans, but they include $20 discounts on the normally $75 Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes starter packs and $15 off the usually $40 Disney Infinity 2.0 Edition Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers. Continuing the Disney theme, anyone who purchases GameStop's Disney Infinity PlayStation 3 bundle will receive a $25 gift card. Further discounts are still being hammered out on a store-by-store basis.

GameStop's pre-Black Friday Family Weekend event will kick off on November 21 and run through November 23. All GameStop stores are participating, though discounts may vary between locations. If you need one last reason to visit your local games retailer this weekend, GameStop is planning midnight launch events for both Super Smash Bros. Wii U and the excellent Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on November 21.
[Image: Disney]

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Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire review: A real gem

It's been 18 years since Nintendo first introduced humanity to a world of adorable monsters that would capture the hearts of millions and grow into the sort of media juggernaut that usually involves a teenaged British wizard or an especially smug Robert Downey Jr. Despite nearly two decades of success, the series' core - the handheld Pokemon role-playing games - have remained perennially good, if not particularly revolutionary. The biggest leap in series history arrived last year with Pokemon X and Y, and while our review of those games was glowing, they weren't without flaws.

Now, developer Game Freak is ready to take another shot at it, using the same enhanced graphics technology, but leaning on the existing plot found in the 2003 GameBoy Advance releases Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire. It might seem lazy to rehash these old storylines, but after working my way through the remakes, it's clear that it was a wise decision that allowed the developer to forgo writing a new plot and instead focus on the aspects of Pokemon games that truly matter to players: combat, the expansive world and, of course, the Pokemon themselves. If Pokemon X and Y were Game Freak's first tentative steps into the world of 3D monster taming, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are proof that the studio has mastered the technology.

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Pokemon Omega/Alpha anime short doesn't really need English

Image With Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire out this Friday, November 21, why not commemorate the 3DS remakes with a snippet of anime? It may be in Japanese, but at this point Pokemon is all but its own language anyway. ... Continue Reading

CoD: Advanced Warfare sees off big names to retain UK No. 1

It's that time of year when big-name franchises chuck lengthily-titled entries onto shelves, and the games with the longest names prevail. This week, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare kept top spot in the UK charts, holding off the likes of Assassin's Creed: Unity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor and Fédération Internationale de Football Association 15 - or FIFA 15 for short.

While the latest CoD is king of the sea for the second week running, there are interesting details throughout the UK top ten. For example:
  1. The split for UK physical sales of Assassin's Creed: Unity was 52 percent PS4, 46 percent Xbox One and 2 percent PC.
  2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection notched the biggest UK launch for a first-party Xbox One game. If you include all publishers i.e. all Xbox One games, it came in 7th.
  3. Minecraft Vita hit British retail shelves and scored the third biggest launch for any game on the portable, only behind Uncharted: Golden Abyss and FIFA Football.
You'll find more on this week's UK charts below the break, including the top ten and the oft-ignored but stubbornly customary music video

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Mighty No. 9 protagonist Beck gets a color change

Beck, the hero of Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune's upcoming Mighty No. 9, has taken a look in the mirror and deemed his duds too drab - or rather, developer Comcept has. In an update post on the Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter page, game director Koji Imaeda explains that Beck's color scheme has gone from one dominated by gray to one defined by white.

"From the very beginning we designed Beck to have a neutral, grey base, with the idea of wanting to make something completely new and unique," Imaeda writes. "But development soldiered on, and as we approached the last leg, we started looking closer at Beck. As a protagonist that could absorb the abilities of his siblings and take on various forms, our image of his appropriate color shifted from 'neutrality' to 'containing all possibilities' ... and since white is a combination of all colors of light, we felt that would actually suit his character better!"

Makes sense to us. The justification also sounds a little familiar ...
[Image: Comcept]

Aonuma: Majora's Mask remake will be different on New 3DS

The upcoming remake of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask will offer a different experience when played on Nintendo's revamped 3DS hardware, series producer Eiji Aonuma told Famitsu this week (via Nintendo Everything).

While Majora's Mask 3D will retain the same visual quality and presentation across 3DS hardware generations, Aonuma hints that additional features are in store for New Nintendo 3DS early adopters. "Please wait for the opportunity to discuss how playing on the New 3DS differs at a later date," he told Famitsu.

The New Nintendo 3DS, announced in August and released in Japan last month, features an enhanced CPU, additional shoulder buttons, and a second "C-stick" analog pad. A North American release date for the New Nintendo 3DS is not yet known.

[Image: Nintendo]

October NPD: NBA 2K15, Smash Bros. 3DS lead in weak month for software sales [Update]

NPD results for the month of October place the 2K Sports behemoth NBA 2K15 in the lead, collectively across five platforms, with Super Smash Bros. 3DS in second – despite its single-platform status. Mario & Friends are still big moneymakers.

Last month's powerhouse, Destiny, fell to fifth from first in October. New titles debuted strong: The Evil Within was the third best piece of tracked software for the month, followed by a fourth place appearance by Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The latest Skylanders title, Skylanders: Trap Team, debuted at sixth causing The Sims 4, Disney Infinity 2.0 and Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls to fall from the top ten.

Insomniac's Xbox One-exclusive Sunset Overdrive was the ninth best-selling title of the month, according to The NPD Group, but failed to appear on the group's combined platform, new physical software-only top ten list (it was also available in an Xbox One bundle).

Sales across hardware, software and accessories "were essentially flat" compared to October 2013, The NPD Group's Liam Callahan said. Eighth-generation consoles made up 80 percent of dollar sales for the month – a 59 percent increase versus last year, a month before the Xbox One and PS4 launched – offsetting a 28 percent decline in software sales for October 2014 over the same reported period a year ago.

[Update: Nintendo revealed that it sold over 485,000 copies of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS in North America in October, and has sold 1.2 million copies across digital and retail channels to date. The company additionally stated that Wii U hardware sales have seen a 47 percent jump in the first 10 months of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.]

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Harvest Moon 3D: The Lost Valley review: Fractured farming tales

3DS
After taking root in the 16-bit era and spanning multiple console generations, the Harvest Moon series now finds itself in a precarious spot. The North American publishing rights for the Marvelous-developed Harvest Moon games have changed hands, leaving Xseed to publish the next 3DS sequel as Story of Seasons. Freed of its ties to the series itself but retaining the Harvest Moon trademark, Natsume took the opportunity to shift the franchise in a new direction with the internally developed Harvest Moon 3D: The Lost Valley.

Featuring terraforming mechanics inspired by the indie hit Minecraft, The Lost Valley shakes up long-standing series traditions in a bid to explore new farming-focused gameplay ideas and forge its own identity. While its attempts at innovation are successful to a limited extent, longtime Harvest Moon fans will be disappointed with the barebones end result.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Mario Kart 8 DLC, Sonic Boom

Mario Kart 8's first major content pack is available now, and for $8 and 1GB of Wii U space you can fill your racing roster with the likes of Link, the Master Cycle, and a circuit based on F-Zero's Mute City. Or, to summarize for numerophiles, three characters, four karts and eight tracks. Don't forget, you can also get the DLC as part of the $12 package that bundles in a pre-order for the second pack, due in March 2015.

The eShop's not just about Mario Kart 8 this week... 'cos Mario Kart: Super Circuit brings GBA racing to the Wii U Virtual Console. We josh, kartophobes, there's plenty of other stuff to download. There are the console and handheld editions of Sonic Boom, the Wii U port of pop-up beauty Tengami (check out our impressions of it on iOS), and the belated stateside arrival of Pokemon Trading Card Game on 3DS Virtual Console.

Since it's November and another one of those content-packed weeks, our digestible list of new releases should prove handy. You'll find that below the break. and if you're after sales and permanent discounts, point your clicker here.

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