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Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley trailer talks farmlife fantasies


Natsume gets chatty in this narrated trailer for Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley, giving a detailed overview of what players can expect from the latest entry in its long-running farming simulation series. The Lost Valley puts players on a quest to restore the seasons to a forgotten town, and features new world-building elements and customization options inspired by Minecraft. The Lost Valley hits retail and the 3DS eShop on November 4.

[Video: Natsume]

How to get demo codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire

Nintendo will release a playable demo of Pokemon Omega Ruby and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire on November 7, but you'll have to put in some effort to play these games before their official November 21 launch.

According to Nintendo, there are several methods for obtaining a demo download code. From November 7 to November 13, several cinemas and games retailers will be distributing codes at no charge. If you'd rather not leave the house, you can also acquire a code by purchasing Pokemon Art Academy from the 3DS eShop, or either Pokemon Puzzle Challenge or the Pokemon Trading Card Game from the eShop Virtual Console. Pokemon Art Academy is out on October 24 while Pokemon Puzzle Challenge and the Pokemon Trading Card Game hit Virtual Console on November 6 and 13, respectively.

Nintendo plans to issue demo codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire on October 31. If you can't score a code by then, your final option is to attend Nintendo's holiday mall tour from November 24 to December 21. Staff members will be on hand demonstrating both of the new Pokemon games and will be handing out two demo codes to anyone who asks.

Demon's Crest, Gargoyle's Quest 2 invade eShop on October 30

Capcom will resurrect a pair of demonic platformers from its back catalog next week with the launch of Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the Nintendo eShop.

Both games star Ghosts 'n Goblins series antagonist Firebrand, and both feature side-scrolling action bolstered by action-RPG elements. Firebrand navigates an RPG-like overworld in between difficult platforming sequences in 1992's Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES, while the 1994 SNES series finale Demon's Crest takes a more open-ended approach, challenging players to return to previously-explored levels as they uncover hidden items and pursue multiple endings.

Capcom's upcoming eShop re-releases will premiere at a significant discount compared to their current aftermarket prices. Cartridge-only copies of Demon's Crest are hovering around $100 on eBay these days, and Gargoyle's Quest 2 is approaching $70. 3DS and Wii U owners get Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $4.99 next week, and Demon's Crest will hit the Wii U eShop exclusively for $7.99.

(For the record, I sold my cartridge of Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $10 and complete-in-box (sob) copy of Demon's Crest for around $20 years ago. I regret my mistakes.)

[Image: Capcom / VG Museum]

Editor's Note: We Are Always Fighting

We are always fighting.

The first video game I ever played, Space Invaders, rendered fighting in a sickly green hue, with squid-like aliens descending down the bulbous surface of a beige monitor. As much as I admired their patient and orderly see-saw attack pattern on our planet, it made it easy to blow them away from below. You see, it's not about the violence, but timing and pattern recognition.

My other starting game was some kind of Mad Libs program, which accepted a list of nouns and verbs and then spat out a boring or comical story, depending on how creative your input was. The key to playing this game well, I determined, was baking a well-timed "pie" into the plot. The archer reaches into his quiver and removes ... a pie! Help, the sheriff's been shot in the pie! The crowd sucked the air out of the room as the boxer fell to a critical blow from his opponent ... the PIE. You see, a video game lets players control (and probably ruin) the story.

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Fifa fo fum, who smells the blood of an English man?

Chart-Track's post-FIFA portion of the year rolls along on the UK charts, with the footie franchise holding the top spot now for four straight weeks. Hunting the perennial performer was The Evil Within and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel in second and third, respectively.

Although Chart-Track doesn't share unit sales, it should be noted Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's third place showing is impressive given that it's only available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC (nor does this count digital distribution). Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor is fighting death in fourth place despite a 51 percent drop from last week. Alien: Isolation is holding on tight in sixth before it gets sucked out the airlock. Run past the break for the UK top ten.

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Shin Megami Tensei 4 searches for Samurai in Europe, other regions on October 30

Good news, non-American JRPG fans – your extended wait for Shin Megami Tensei 4 is (probably) almost over! A recent press release from publisher Atlus lists a digital-only release on October 30 for Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Since SMT4's classes started last year in the United States, the 3DS' venture will be priced at 18 or 20 euros, with DLC reaching the new regions within the month following launch.

The game's most recent European delay was due to "last-minute issues" back in September, but Managing Editor Susan Arendt's review remarks that SMT4 has "more than enough going on to hook you early and keep you playing for a long, long time," so it might all be worth the wait.
[Image: Atlus]

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Mighty No. 9 will feature English voice acting thanks to vote

Mighty No. 9, Comcept's spirtual successor to the Mega Man series, will feature English voice acting according to an update on the game's Kickstarter page. A vote which drew more than 20,000 participants was the deciding factor, and according to the update, the vote was never more than 1,000 votes from going in favor of English or Japanese.

Back in July, Comcept updated their crowdfunding efforts and asked for $200,000 to add both English and Japanese voices. However, at the beginning of October, a Kickstarter update explained that funding was insufficient for supporting both languages.

"Rather than stick to the revised target of $200K for both English and Japanese voice acting and close it down short of the goal, we've decided to lower the goal back to the original $100K for one language," the update reads. "And, rather than dictate which one voiced language we offer in the game, we want to put it to a vote and let you, our loyal backers decide: English or Japanese!" Now that the votes have been tallied, it appears the former is the winner.

Mighty No. 9 is due to release in spring of 2015 for ten mighty systems: PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U and 3DS.
[Image: Comcept]

September NPD: Destiny leads as software sales decline

The gaming industry continues to grow with each passing month, though the rate of said growth in North America seems to be slowing, according to the NPD's latest report.

Though sales of video game hardware jumped an impressive 136 percent year over year - which makes sense given that the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 had yet to launch in September 2013 - total industry sales only grew by two percent. This is due to a 36 percent decline in year over year sales of new, physical console and portable games, that, while countered by a 33 percent increase in accessory sales, is complemented by a 35 percent decline in total software sales, which includes the aforementioned console games as well as their PC counterparts. However, the NPD notes that a direct comparison is difficult as September 2013 saw the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5, a game that holds the record as the most successful launch in history.

Despite the dip in software sales, Sony claims September 2014 was a "record-breaking month" for the PlayStation Network Store. "Last month's PlayStation Store revenue increased nearly 90 percent compared with Sept. 2013," stated Sony Network Entertainment International vice president Eric Lempel. "Working closely with Activision and Bungie, we wanted to make the launch of Destiny a special experience for PlayStation fans. We're thrilled to see this high engagement from PS4 and PS3 owners."

The top ten best-selling games saw a shakeup in September, with Destiny pushing Madden 15 out of the top spot and both Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor joining the list, at spots four and five, respectively. That success, Nintendo claims, is largely responsible for the sale of 140,000 3DS units during September. Likewise, Nintendo believes the Wii U's double-digit increase in sales can be attributed to Mario Kart 8 and Hyrule Warriors. Beyond the break, you'll find a full rundown of the top ten best-selling games for September 2014.

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PSA: Gamestop doles out Shiny Gengar, no purchase necessary

Pokemaniacs looking for a Shiny Gengar, but who would rather not spend hours upon hours hunting through the tall grass for the slim chance that one might appear, currently have another option, thanks to an ongoing Gamestop giveaway.

Anyone who visits Gamestop before October 26 with either a copy of Pokemon X or Pokemon Y in tow will be given a totally gratis Shiny Gengar. What's more, the rare Pokemon - Bulbapedia claims Shiny Pokemon have a 1 in 4,096 chance of appearing in the wild - will be holding a Gengarite Mega Stone, allowing the ghostly 'mon to Mega Evolve into an even more powerful pocket monster.

Best of all, there's no catch. You don't have to buy anything, sign up for a rewards card or even glance at the pre-owned games wall. Simply walk into your local Gamestop, politely ask an employee about the promotion and they should walk you through the process of downloading the Shiny Gengar.
[Image: Nintendo/The Pokemon Company]

New Nintendo eShop releases - Lone Survivor, more Castlevania

Castlevania? More like Castlemania, amirite?

Hello? Is this thing on? My point was if you've been following October's eShop games you'll have noticed a trend. Namely, a new Game Boy Advance entry from Konami's vampiric series appearing out of thin air each week. We've already had Dracula X and Circle of the Moon; this week, it's Harmony of Dissonance and next week it's Aria of Sorrow. It's almost like we're leading up to some kind of horror-themed celebration ... is this thing still not on?

Anyway, ahead of Bayonetta 2 next week, this week it's more about download-only stuff: games like side-scrolling horror Lone Survivor: Director's Cut and shoot-em-up Ballpoint Universe: Infinite. According to developer Arachnid Games, Ballpoint was drawn entirely in ballpoint pen, and it looks a treat in the below-the-break trailer. You'll also find the full list of new releases there, and if sales are more your bag check out the eShop deals here.

Don't forget, you can now buy (some) eShop games on Nintendo of America's website and have them automatically download to your system of choice. No, it's true. Yes, we're talking about Nintendo. Stop looking at us like that.

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You can now do your eShopping on Nintendo's website

Nintendo's website now allows you to buy certain downloadable games directly, forgoing the need to hop on to the eShop on your 3DS or Wii U. Eagle-eyed types saw a new "Buy Digital" button on Nintendo's North American site this week, allowing you to either buy and receive an eShop code or tie the purchase to your Nintendo Network ID. As a FAQ explains, if you use your NNID, that leaves the game ready to redeem and download on your Nintendevice.

As Tiny Cartridge details, you can also use your browser to pre-order certain eShop games. At the mo', this includes games like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Super Smash Bros. Wii U and Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Nintendo hasn't released a list of the games supported by the service, but did note it's currently only available for "select first-party titles."

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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate ships 2M in Japanese debut

Enhanced re-release Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has already hunted and gathered two million shipments in Japan after hitting retail shelves four days ago. Capcom specified the figure as shipments rather than direct sales to consumers, but it does include download purchases.

The early data suggests Capcom's on course to meet its projection of 3.9 million units for the 3DS action-RPG. After all, Ultimate isn't out in North America and Europe yet, and the original Monster Hunter 4 was limited to Japan. If Ultimate does go on to reach that figure it won't be far off the success of its predecessor, with Capcom noting today Monster Hunter 4 shipped more than 4.1 million copies - just to reiterate, that's in Japan alone.

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Shovel Knight hits Europe and Australia's eShops in November

European and Australian Wii U and 3DS owners can finally go on the trowel in November, when Shovel Knight reaches their eShops following a lengthy wait. While the retro-inspired platformer came to Nintendo systems in North America back in June, it was only available internationally on PC. Developer Yacht Club Games put the eShop delay down to localization processes such as translation and certification.

"Thank you European and Australian region players for hanging in there with us for so long," reads the studio's latest Kickstarter update. "We learned some new things and have a wealth of ideas for how we can improve on in the future. We're truly sorry for the delay."

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Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire demo due next week on 3DS


A trial version of Game Freak's re-remade monster-battling RPG pair Pokemon Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire will hit the 3DS eShop next week, Nintendo announced today.

Nintendo also teases new Mega Evolutions for Latios and Latias in the video above, giving players an early look at the advanced forms that await its classic Pokemon characters. Other recent Mega Evolution reveals include Audino, Pidgeot, and (unquestionably best of all) MEGA SLOWBRO.

Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire hit retail and the 3DS eShop on November 21. The demo version launches on October 21.

[Video: Nintendo]

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Tetris Ultimate hits 3DS in November, cheaper via eShop


Tetris Ultimate makes a beeline for 3DS on November 11, Ubisoft has announced. The game will launch on Xbox One, PS4, Vita and PC in the winter, locking in a slight delay for consoles, which previously had a summer launch window.

On 3DS, Tetris Ultimate is cheaper as a digital purchase, $20 compared with $30 at retail. The digital price reduction makes sense on the surface, since that version doesn't have to factor in costs associated with a physical release, but it is a fairly unprecedented move. The Vita has boasted a few reduced-price digital games in the past, but largely, publishers offer one price for downloaded and physical games.

The 3DS version of Tetris Ultimate includes four single-player Challenge modes, as outlined by Ubisoft: "Master" has Tetriminos drop instantly and appear at the bottom, "Rotation Lock" makes the orientations of the Tetriminos random and frozen in one position, "Escalation" has players clear more lines as the game levels up, and "Invisible" makes the Tetriminos invisible as they drop to the bottom.

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