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Bravely Second promotes Bravely Default heroine to pope

Square Enix is ready to shed more light on the story of Bravely Second, the upcoming sequel to last year's (excellent) Bravely Default. New details regarding the characters and setting of the game have popped up on SE's official website, while Gematsu has translations.

First, there's the character of Agnes. In Bravely Default, Agnes bore the title of Vestal as she traveled to awaken the four crystals. In Bravely Second, it seems Agnes has received something of a promotion, as she's now being referred to as pope of the Crystal Orthodoxy. We imagine being pope has its advantages - like being freaking pope - but on the downside, it also makes you prime kidnapping material, which is exactly what happens to dear Agnes.

The Crystal Orthodoxy headquarters are located in Guatelatio, a city that will be introduced in Bravely Second. According to Gematsu, Guatelatio guards the highway that leads to the Temple of Earth and the Holy Land. Within its walls, Guatelatio also holds the Gate of Faith, a military institution that trains Orthodox Knights.

So we've got the savior of the world, a military organization, and a lot of religious undertones. What could go wrong? Guess we'll find out when - and if - Bravely Second is released outside of Japan. But then, even Japan isn't sure when they'll get their hands on the game, as Bravely Second has yet to be given an official release date.
[Image: Square Enix]

Cooking Mama 5 spices up 3DS on September 16

Is your 3DS library coming up short in terms of food preparation sims? Don't worry; Mama will fix this. Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! will hit retailers in North America next month with a gaggle of new recipes in tow.

Cooking Mama 5 features 60 new recipes, allowing players to virtually prepare international dishes like sushi, parfaits, Hawaiian pancakes, and the most exotic food of all, chicken nuggets. The game also offers a variety of side-missions and activities like pet-feeding and food delivery, and its multiplayer mode supports single cart download play for up to four competing chefs.

Cooking Mama 5: Bon Appétit! premieres on September 29.

[Image: Majesco]

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Fairy sales - Bravely Default ships one million worldwide

Bravely Default: Flying Fairy is proving a commercial hit as well as a critical one, shipping an impressive one million copies worldwide. Square Enix announced (via Dengeki Online) the 3DS JRPG shifted 400,000 in Japan and 600,000 overseas, including download sales.

While it has its roots entrenched in old-school Final Fantasy, Bravely Default is still a new property, so the figures are strong. They've already made a similarly strong impression on president Yosuke Matsuda, who said the game's global sales made his company reconsider its approach to JRPG development.

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Watch Dogs is still the UK charts' best friend

Watch Dogs continues to rise above the summer drought, notching its sixth week in total as the British No. 1. Again, there's not one new release in the UK top 40, so it's not shocking to see the country's games market drop another three percent in revenue this week.

The Last of Us: Remastered should reinvigorate the market, but until then we're staving off the tumbleweeds with more music below the break. This week, we're honoring Watch Dogs' achievement with a 1969 rock track that featured memorably in British gangster film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Woof!

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The nightmare returns as Twitch Plays Pokemon X / Y

The Twitch Plays Pokemon social phenomenon continues rolling along today, as the hivemind sets out to conquer the Kalos region of Pokemon X / Y. Not only is this the TPP project's final step to becoming a poke-master (which is to say that the group will have experienced all six generations of Pokemon once they beat it), but this time, rather than play an emulated version of the game like before, Twitch plays on a modified 3DS.

This is a significant change because having an actual copy of the game and an actual 3DS system means being able to take advantage of Pokemon X / Y's online features. You think storing pokemon in the PC or releasing them to the wild was bad? Try dumping them on some hopeless stranger through a Wonder Trade. Chaos! Chaos reigns!

The anonymous streamer in charge had the system's wireless functions turned off for an extended period of time, but it (currently) seems to be coming back. We're not ones to pick a side in whether or not Wi-Fi should be enabled, but someone out there managed to trade with the Twitch-controlled pokemon trainer to bestow upon them a "LADY HELIX."

It's a sign.
[Image: Twitch]

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 gobbles up an October release


Ohhhhhhhh no / Those ghosts have got to go / Go go Paczilla

Pac-Man and his pals are back for another round of 3D platforming with the upcoming release of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS, publisher Bandai Namco announced this week.

Based on the latest season of the ongoing animated series Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, this year's sequel allows players to switch between Pac-Man and new playable characters Spiral and Cylindria. Players are also equipped with new powers and skills, including the ability to transform Pac-Man into the monstrous (and, honestly, kinda terrifying) Paczilla.

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 will hit retail in North America on October 14.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Skylanders Trap Team to introduce 'Eon's Elite' premium toy line

Activision announced that it will roll out a new collector-oriented series of Skylanders toys following the launch of the multiplatform sequel Skylanders Trap Team this fall.

The new "Eon's Elite" figures feature a metallic finish, and sit atop a golden base inside a premium-packaged foil display case. If you can bring yourself to crack open the packages and ruin their aftermarket value, you'll find that the Eon's Elite toys summon in-game characters who are up to three times more powerful than their non-premium counterparts.

Today's announcement follows up on Activision's recently revealed Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition, a bonus-bundled special edition of the game that will carry a premium price tag at retail. Recent announcements suggest that Trap Team will move beyond the series' traditional youth-oriented focus in order to appeal to an expanding collector market.

The first Eon's Elite series features relaunched characters from 2011's Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, including Spyro and Chop-Chop. Prices for the new toys were not announced, but given their focus on packaging and presentation, they're likely more expensive than currently available figures.

[Image: Activision]

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Tomodachi Life stage lets you live inside Super Smash Bros.

Look, we all love fighting each other on top of Castle Hyrule and amongst the bricks of the Mushroom Kingdom in the Super Smash Bros. games. But sometimes, you just gotta step outside your comfort zone and try something new. Something like the Tomodachi Life-inspired stage for Super Smash Bros. coming to 3DS this October, perhaps.

Game director Masahiro Sakurai revealed today that Super Smash Bros. for 3DS - and only the 3DS version - will feature a stage based on the recently-released Tomodachi Life. What's more, it will pull the Mii data from your 3DS so that when you come crashing through an apartment, it could be you or your friends' place you see.

Sakurai also noted that the placement of rooms will be randomized, and that there are several different types of rooms for the game to choose from. While initially it looks as though areas of the level are closed off, walls will fade away when a fighter occupies the room it hides. Sakurai hinted that placing a bomb in an apartment might be a good idea, which is a great example of a thought that would be utterly terrifying if it weren't about a video game.
[Image: Nintendo]

Sonic Boom reaches Wii U, 3DS in November

Sonic the Hedgehog will grace the Wii U and 3DS with his newly-lanky, traumatic dimensions in mid-November, according to Sega.

First up is Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal, a 3DS game crafted by Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time developer Sanzaru Games, which is slated to appear on November 11. Then, a week later, Big Red Button Entertainment will debut the Wii U-exclusive Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric. Collectively dubbed the "Sonic Boom initiative," these two games will tell complementary tales that are linked in the surprisingly extensive Sonic the Hedgehog canon.

While you won't need to play both games to receive a full story, those who fall hopelessly in love with this most recent incarnation of 1992's favorite spiny rodent can also look forward to comic books and an animated series to quell their thirst for hedgehog hijinks.
[Image: Sega]

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New Nintendo eShop releases: Siesta Fiesta, Wooden Sen'Sey, Master Reboot


As we're still stuck in the July drought of major new releases, now's as good a time as any to check out some of the smaller games hitting systems. The Wii U has a few such games this week, including some that have made the journey from other platforms.

If you like the sound of sci-fi first-person horror, Master Reboot's exploration of uploading consciousness may be for you. If you'd prefer something lighter, Wooden Sen'Sey promises action-platforming with "Japan Steam Rock" humor - y'know, like all those Japanese Steam Rock sitcoms. Both games are also available on PC, and PS3 too for Master Reboot.

The game that catches our eye this week, though, is on 3DS, and it's Siesta Fiesta. It looks like Breakout combined with the colorful, over-cheery craziness of games like Rayman and LocoRoco, and it's definitely the season for something like that.

As ever, faithful readers of this weekly post, you'll find the full list of new releases below the break. That just leaves new sales to talk about: Trine 2 is 60 percent off - that's down from $20 to $8 - until August 12, while Atlus games Devil Survivor Overclocked ($15), Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers ($15), Shin Megami Tensei 4 ($24) and Code of Princess ($15) are all on sale until August 4.

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Smash Bros. on demand at Comic-Con

Nintendo is going all-out with its plans for Super Smash Bros at San Diego Comic-Con. The company already announced a tournament and a live show, but it's now adding "Bring Me Smash" to the mix. Using a sophisticated mix of digital technology and analog human power, the publisher will bring the game directly to attendees.

"When a notice goes out through Nintendo's Twitter account, fans will be able to tweet their location to Nintendo for a chance to have a roaming group of Nintendo employees show up with Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS for a brief hands-on session," a company representative explained.

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Pay attention, 007, Persona Q arrives on November 25


Persona Q, the 3DS spin-off which isn't a tribute to James Bond's gadgets man, hits North America on November 25. The release date arrives courtesy of a new trailer re-featuring the game's opening movie, providing you with the perfect excuse to let your heart melt as you re-watch Kanji hugging Koromaru - it just might be too adorable.

Persona Q brings together the characters of Persona 3 and Persona 4, but it also brings in mapping elements from the Etrian Odyssey series. While that may be an unknown quantity to Persona fans, the story will make them feel right at home: It all takes place at a parallel version of Yasogami High School, one that's home to a dark, foreboding tower. The word on the parallel street is anyone who hears the tower bell ring out is certain to die. Naturally, our chibi-fied Persona team sets off to investigate.

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Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition debuting at Comic-Con this week

Developer Toys for Bob will showcase the upcoming figure-powered action game Skylanders Trap Team this week at San Diego Comic-Con, giving showgoers an early look at the collector-oriented Dark Edition prior to its launch in October.

Skylanders Trap Team's Dark Edition is a special starter bundle that features the Ultimate Kaos Trap, an accessory that allows players to capture and control series antagonist Kaos for the first time. The package also includes two additional trap accessories, a redesigned Portal of Power, a poster, sticker sheets, trading cards, and exclusive black-and-silver variants of new characters Snap Shot, Wildfire and Food Fight.

Toys for Bob will additionally host a Skylanders-themed panel discussion and costume contest starting on July 24. The Skylanders Trap Team Dark Edition retails at $99.99, and is set to launch on October 5 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, and 3DS platforms.

[Image: Activision Blizzard]

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Tetris Ultimate stacks exclusive challenge modes on 3DS

Ubisoft announced that its upcoming revamp of the classic block-stacking puzzler Tetris will feature platform-exclusive challenge modes when it hits the Nintendo 3DS this fall.

The 3DS version of Tetris Ultimate includes a "Master" mode inspired by Arika's Tetris: The Grand Master, challenging players to form lines with blocks that drop instantly and appear at the bottom of the screen. Tetris Ultimate also features a "Rotation Lock" mode that freezes falling pieces in random orientations, an "Escalation" mode that demands players clear more lines as levels ramp up in difficulty, and an "Invisible" mode that turns blocks invisible as they approach the bottom of the screen.

Tetris Ultimate is also slated to launch for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this summer. A digital release for the PlayStation Vita and PC platforms will follow in the fall.

[Image: Ubisoft]

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Hori's 3DS accessory gives one hand a second circle pad

One of the bigger issues with playing a Monster Hunter game on the 3DS is the hand cramping that accompanies the game's camera controls. As discussed in our Deja Review of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, the Circle Pad Pro add-on is essential for the 3DS version of the game, and now Hori is taking the concept for the accessory and tweaking it for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (4G in Japan) players.

Dubbed the Extended Slide Pad, Hori's new accessory adds an extra shoulder button to the right half of the 3DS or 3DS XL and a second circle pad to the left half for players' nimble index fingers to take hold of. The controller add-on also adds a "ZL" shoulder button to the underside of the 3DS near its Monster Hunter 4G branding, turning compatible games into a workout for players' left hands. There are two versions of the Extended Slide Pad controller, one for 3DS and another for the 3DS XL, and each cost 2,980 yen ($29). The accessory will arrive in Japan on the same day Monster Hunter 4G launches, October 11.
[Image: Hori]

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