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Lego Batman 3 goes Beyond Gotham on November 11

No longer content with striking fear into the hearts of superstitious criminals in the back alleys of his hometown, Batman is branching out to more exotic climes in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham.

According to publisher Warner Bros. Interactive, the Dark Knight's latest blocky adventure sees our hero battling Superman villain Brainiac to prevent the destruction of Earth. It seems the hyper-intelligent alien has swiped a handful of Lantern rings and is using their power to shrink worlds for his creepy collection of tiny civilizations. Batman must join forces with the "greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains" to travel through the cosmos, collecting Lantern rings and eventually using their Oan might to topple Brainiac's plot.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will debut on November 11. As with all DC Comics/Lego mashups, the game will appear on myriad platforms, including the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PS3, Vita, Wii U, 3DS and PC.

Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition trailblazes the UK charts

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition is the new UK No.1, displacing The Last of Us: Remastered after three weeks running at the top. Data compilers Chart Track offer a few interesting infobits on the new chart leader, including that the top platform for sales was PS4 with 47 percent of the share. The PS4 version sold more than last year's original Xbox 360 release, but only around 500 units more. Xbox One took 32 percent of the share, Xbox 360 13 percent this time around, and PS3 8 percent.

Also rising out of the undergrowth into this week's top ten is Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare, thanks to the brand new PS4 and PS3 versions. It takes third place behind The Last of Us: Remastered, while JRPG Tales of Xillia 2 debuts in an impressive tenth place.

Finally, and quite incredibly, FIFA 14 is out of the UK top ten for the first time since its release. If only EA had another upcoming edition of its soccer sim to replace it...

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Voice of Mario meets Instagram in funny clips

Charles Martinet, best known as the voice of Mario, has joined Instagram. Of course, there are lots of people on Instagram, possibly even your dear ol' Granny. Of course, Granny probably isn't walking around with a bunch of Mario figurines and making silly videos (more power to her if she is, though).

After starting his account in mid-August, Martinet has already filled it with plenty of amusing clips, including Mario educating Luigi on the art of puns, Wario not understanding said puns and the two brothers being juggled by a Chilean street performer. We'd suggest you start with that one and work your way forward.
[Image: Charles Martinet]

Rumor: Super Smash Bros videos show Bowser Jr, Shulk, Duck Hunt Dog [Update: Videos pulled]

Update: The videos have been removed from YouTube, though you can still see snippets of them in GIF format on the NeoGAF post linked below.

If rumors are to be believed, we're not even close to seeing the final roster of Super Smash Bros. Several images and videos of Nintendo's upcoming mascot brawler have surfaced (handily collected on NeoGAF), showcasing lots of new characters. Among these are King Koopa's bandana'd progeny, Bowser Jr, Xenoblade protagonist Shulk and ... the dog from Duck Hunt.

In the videos, Bowser Jr is seen piloting a tiny version of his father's iconic flying machine, while Shulk seems to have a few things in common with fellow sword-swingers Roy and Marth. There's no video of the Duck Hunt dog, sadly, but if his appearance turns out to be true: best ... taunt ... ever.

Of course, we have to point out that talented modders have been squeezing new characters into Smash Bros Brawl for years – everything from Master Chief to Cloud Strife – so we suggest a smashing serving of salt to go along with all of this.

See the videos after the break.

Bravely Second footage goes on a job search

The debut gameplay footage of Bravely Second is limited to city exploration and a few menu screens, but it does highlight some of the new content coming to the 3DS JRPG sequel. To check it out, bravely head below the break.

As captured from a Square Enix livestream by Nintendo Everything, the videos show new character Magnolia trekking through what looks like Istantal, going by official images. According to previously released details, it's a city home to a university of magic where the professors helped to develop a "new structure" of the arcane art. As for Magnolia, Bravely Default fans may recognize her from the first game's special epilogue. The site describes her as having a "daredevil attitude" that we're sure Agnes will find unacceptable.

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Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright review: Hold it, this reminds me of a puzzle

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright is less a crossover of gameplay styles than it is two of them sat side by side, occasionally exchanging a polite smile. Imagine an Ace Attorney game, but instead of wandering around interrogating and finding clues, you were doing the Professor Layton thing of solving puzzles to move along the narrative. Congratulations, you have just imagined Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright.

Oddly, the game exposes the weaknesses of both series. By routinely switching between the two styles, the 3DS crossover avoids the monotonous repetition that hurt later Layton games while simultaneously focusing on the most fun part of Ace Attorney: the courtroom battles. That makes it a breeze to play through, even if it all feels a little dumbed down. In contrast, the story sours the fun by being a bloated mess that twists and turns so much that it needs a killer conclusion. In the end, the finale is more an assault on your patience, though not a fatal one thanks to the Ace Attorney's inimitable brand of courtroom chaos.

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Jam to Smash Bros. 3DS tracks on the go in Sleep Mode

After Super Smash Bros. Brawl's extensive, impressive recollection of Nintendo's musical heights, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U and 3DS has a lot to live up to. If the incoming soundtrack resembles the quality of its predecessor, the 3DS version could be a prime opportunity to revisit incessantly-catchy stage themes on the go. The Smash Bros. team is apparently thinking the same thing, as Director Masahiro Sakurai's explains that Smash Bros. 3DS will have a "Play in Sleep Mode" option in its playback mode.

Once activated, players can listen to tracks and character voices with their 3DS closed, using the L and R buttons to navigate a playlist. Sakurai also noted that tracks displayed with a pink remix label (seen above) were freshly composed for this version of Smash Bros., whereas songs with white remix labels are encores from previous soundtracks.

We can't start unlocking Smash's full playlist until October 3, but at least the official site offers a few samples and a list of contributing musicians.
[Image: Nintendo]

Brainiac has the whole world in his hands in LEGO Batman 3



Forget Gotham, it's the world at stake in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Brainiac is collecting planets, and it's up to Batman and other DC heroes (and even some villains) to stop him. While stealing planets isn't cool, at least Brainiac got those pants he wanted.
[Image: Warner Bros. Interactive]

Pokemon Art Academy hits North America in October

Image Pokemon Art Academy launches on October 24 in North America, digitally and in stores for 3DS. This follows the game's launch on July 4 in Europe. Pokemon Art Academy trains players to be master Pokemon artists, starting with basic shapes and working up to blending, shading, and special lessons in... Continue Reading

Azure Striker Gunvolt includes free Mighty No. 9 crossover minigame

Players who hop on the Azure Striker Gunvolt bandwagon when it launches in the 3DS eShop next week will receive a free bonus minigame that features a playable character from fellow Keiji Inafune project Mighty No. 9.

Mighty Gunvolt is a five-level, NES-styled platformer starring Azure Striker's Gunvolt, Mighty No. 9 main character Beck, and Ekoro, a supporting character from developer Inti Creates' Japan-only rail shooter Gal*Gun. Players who purchase Azure Striker Gunvolt within its first three months of release will receive a download code for Mighty Gunvolt once it premieres in the 3DS eShop.

Azure Striker Gunvolt launches digitally in North America on August 29.

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Adventure Time: Nameless Kingdom debuts November 21 in Europe

WayForward's next Adventure Time game, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, premieres in Europe for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, and PC platforms via Steam on November 21, publisher Bandai Namco revealed this week.

Announced earlier this year, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom takes gameplay cues from classic entries in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, and models its structure after the lauded 16-bit action-RPG A Link to the Past. Gameplay focuses on solving environmental puzzles to progress through the game's many dungeons, ditching the roguelike-styled gameplay of its predecessor Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! for a more traditional approach.

A North American release date for The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom was not announced.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

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In the garden of Eden Hazard, don't you know that I love FIFA 15?

Belgium and Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard is the new face-next-to-Messi's-face for FIFA 15, at least in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Voted the best young player in the English Premier League last year, Hazard is also a less hazardous proposition to have on the cover than last year's choice, Gareth Bale. If you'll remember, Bale left for Real Madrid after appearing on the FIFA 14 cover in a Tottenham shirt, leaving EA Sports in a bit of a pickle. No such fun, sadly, is on the cards for Hazard this year.

To see the full box art, dribble below the break and remember to wipe.

EA's sportsball sim will once again grace a myriad of platforms starting September 23 in North America. Three days later it'll come to Europe, where Microsoft's once again offering it as part of a Xbox One bundle, priced 400 euros or £350.

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Mega Man 6, Blazblue Clone Phantasma

Mega Mega Mega Man, he's up on the eff- okay, yes, that's the Mega Man 2 theme a la Brentalfloss, but he's not done one for Mega Man 6, the NES platformer out on Wii U Virtual Console this week. Of course, in the musical maestro's opinion Mega Man 6 is "okay." How's that for a recommendation? At least it's better than 7, we almost hear him sing. Oh, also on Wii U Virtual Console this week is Gradius spin-off Life Force, if you're looking for something retro in a more co-op flavor.

Meanwhile, with Disney Infinity 2.0 still out of reach, Nintendo's getting things simmering by bringing OG Disney Infinity to the eShop for the first time, for free. You'll still need a physical figure and base to play it, though. As for the 3DS, we reckon top dog this week is Blazblue Clone Phantasma. Nope, not Blazblue Chrono Phantasma, but a 3D action game spinoff of the fighter series. The cast of characters are still there but hyper-deformed and cute, even if they're still beating the bejeezus out of each other.

As always, you'll find the full list of new releases past the break. Sales-wise there are nine new discounts starting this week, which we'd say qualifies as plenty. We refer you to The Big N's press release for the full list, but we like the look of a third off Aeternoblade at $10 and Chasing Aurora half-price at $4.

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Final Fantasy Explorers plants its flag in Japan this December

If you live in Japan you can grab your backpacks and lead the way in upcoming 3DS co-op RPG Final Fantasy Explorers. Vámonos indeed because as Jump revealed (via Gematsu), it's only a few months before the game hits retail shelves there on December 18.

Continuing the Crystal Chronicles vibe, Final Fantasy Explorers lets up to four adventurers combine forces in quest-driven action. Players take on classic series jobs like Knight, Monk; Black and White Mage; and as this week's Famitsu reveals, Paladin and Hunter. Just as familiar are the summons players do battle against, including the likes of Ifrit and Shiva.

Final Fantasy Explorers remains unconfirmed for Western release, though US and Euro trademarks suggest a voyage across the oceans is on the cards. For now, make you own trek below the break to see three new vids showcasing the Monk, Knight and Black Mage.

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Adorable BlazBlue action spinoff hits 3DS this week

Developer Arc System Works, a studio most famous for hyper-kinetic 2D fighters, will launch BlazBlue: Clone Phantasma on the 3DS eShop on August 21.

Unlike its traditional fighting game predecessors, BlazBlue: Clone Phantasma is a 3D action game that renders the BlazBlue cast as tiny, super-deformed, cutesy versions of developer Arc System Works' typically elaborate character designs. The goal remains "defeat your opponent," but in lieu of flashy combos the giant-headed characters attempt to knock one another off a given stage. This gameplay shift renders BlazBlue: Clone Phantasma more simplistic than its fighting game forebears, but that aligns with the game's budget $6 price tag.

Unfortunately, BlazBlue: Clone Phantasma does not feature online multiplayer. This omission will likely shorten its shelf life, in much the same way that 2010's BlayzBloo: Super Melee Brawlers Battle Royale proved a momentary distraction, but lacked enough long-term depth to draw players from the series' fighting game core.
[Image: Arc System Works]

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