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Minecraft's 'Titan City' took two years, 4.5 million blocks to build

Image What you see here is a labor of love -- emphasis on labor. 19-year-old Delaware student Duncan Parcells spent two years hand-building "Titan City" in the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft, releasing finished versions this week for Microsoft's console and for PC platforms. Titan City's furnished... Continue Reading

343: Halo Collection's launch patch negates a second disc

Following outrage at a 20GB day-one update planned for the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection, head of Halo franchise development Frank O'Connor took to NeoGAF to defend the design decision.

According to O'Connor, that 20GB of data is not a fix for in-game issues, but is instead game content that would have otherwise required that the game ship on multiple Blu-ray discs. "The game is designed to run as a single, unified product, digital is seamless obviously, but we also wanted disc users to have the same experience, without swapping discs," O'Connor told one irate fan. He then added that a title update (read: patch) would be included in the 20GB update, but that it is a "tiny fraction" of the total download. "We realize that this isn't ideal for everyone, but it's the path to the smoothest eventual experience."

While we won't know for sure what's included in the update until it arrives, O'Connor's claim that the game was simply too large to fit on one disc has merit. As we've explained, Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes remastered versions of the first four Halo games, as well as over 100 multiplayer maps.

Joystiq Deals: Android phone giveaway

This edition of Joystiq Deals wants to hook you up with a gratis Android phone, yours to choose from a selection of five high-end Android devices.

Entering the drawing is simple: Pay a visit to the Joystiq Deals website, enter your email address and click the giant "Enter Now" button. If you'd like to make the odds just a bit more in your favor, you can spread the word about the contest on your favorite social networking outlet. Each time an online acquaintance signs up for the drawing using your referral link, you'll automatically earn another entry.

You have two months to submit those entries before the drawing will be held, at which point one lucky winner will walk away with a choice of one of five Android phones. Available models include the Galaxy Note 4, the Moto X, the HTC One M8, the Galaxy Note Edge and the LG G3. For full details, see the Joystiq Deals website.
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.

A Golden Wake review: The City Beautiful

PC, Mac, Linux

Unlike other tales, Grundislav Games' A Golden Wake is a piece of historical fiction, dipping its toe into a deceptively hopeful economic period following the first World War. Being that the game is deeply-rooted in American history, players also have the luxury of knowing the gist of how the story ends; the market crashes, hurricanes hit the coast and the Great Depression sets in. Even with that knowledge on hand, A Golden Wake remains a delightful trip through the best and worst of times for its cast.

The point-and-click adventure game skips through the era and its protagonist becomes a sympathetic symbol for a rough economic time. It stars Alfie Banks, a smooth-talking New York real estate agent that travels to Florida to cash in on the 1920s land boom. Banks is one fictional character in a very real setting, but A Golden Wake is as much about the Roaring Twenties as it is about the man that's looking to make a name for himself in the business world.

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Fist of Jesus is an over-the-top, historically inaccurate brawler

It's probably historically inaccurate, at least. Recording of events back then was pretty hit-or-miss.

In Fist of Jesus, players take on the role of Jesus Christ and Judas as they fight off hordes of zombies with a swordfish, pulled-off body parts, a big cross and ... did Jesus just fart and explode all of those zombies? Seriously? Well, if you're going to do wacky, you might as well go all the way.

Fist of Jesus comes from developer Mutant Army and it's a beat-em-up with RPG elements, 60 levels, upgrades, and an accompanying live-action short film. You can probably guess the movie's premise. See the short film below, along with the game trailer.

Fist of Jesus is out now on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux, 20 percent off ($8) through October 24.

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Ubisoft Toronto founder Jade Raymond departs to pursue 'new opportunities'

Longtime Ubisoft producer and collaborator Jade Raymond has left the company, citing a need to "pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities."

Raymond joined Ubisoft as a producer of the Assassin's Creed series in 2004, and went on to found subsidiary Ubisoft Toronto. Raymond's recent credits include Watch Dogs and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Fellow Ubisoft Toronto founding member Alexandre Parizeau will fill Raymond's vacated position as managing director.

"I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games," Raymond said. "This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I'm confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what's next for me, but for now, I'd like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavors."

[Image: Jade Raymond / Wikipedia]

Guild Wars 2 teases upcoming festivals, living story season conclusion

gw2
ArenaNet's Colin Johanson has penned a new Guild Wars 2 dev blog teasing just what the remainder of the fall season will bring for the two-year-old MMO.

Outside of ANet's e-sports push, the game's buzz has been relatively subdued since the second feature pack released in early September. That will change tomorrow, October 21st, with the arrival of the much-loved Halloween festival; Wintersday, the winter festival, is scheduled to kick off on December 16th. "Both of these releases," Johanson says, "will feature the same content as last year but with refreshed rewards, giving you fun new festival-themed items to earn."

Season 2 of the living story itself returns from intermission on November 4th, having been on hiatus for just under two months. Johanson promises the plotline will feature "stories with roots deep in the very heart of Guild Wars lore" and an "unforgettable" final episode for the season.

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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The Borderlands timeline unfurled

With the recent release of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Gearbox knows it may have some fans with questions on how the series' timeline is organized. That's understandable when your latest game is sub-titled "The Pre-Sequel." To bring order to the chaos, the series developer offered an "ultimate Borderlands timeline" on its blog late last week.

The comic-style timeline divulges major plot points from before the original Borderlands through its direct sequel, Borderlands 2. Viewers beware: Gearbox didn't shy away from spoiling those major events in the timeline, including that of The Pre-Sequel. Our review of the latest game noted that the game is "missing just a bit of soul," but still "has the makings of a pretty great Borderlands game." The series' overarching story will continue with The Walking Dead developer Telltale's adventure game, Tales From the Borderlands, which is expected to launch this year.

EVE Vegas 2014 roundup: Tech 3 destroyers, permadeath and more

An event that started out several years ago as an impromptu EVE Online player gathering, EVE Vegas has grown so large that this year it was was officially taken over by developer CCP Games. This year's event was organised like a mini-Fanfest, with Executive Producer Andie Nordgren's keynote address and some interesting talks from both players and developers. Players got a chance to compare notes with developers on the game's recent progress, CCP let out a few exciting reveals, and the whole event was streamed live to viewers at home for free.

This year's big reveal was a new tech 3 Tactical Destroyer ship class that can transform into one of several tactical configurations mid-fight to boost power to the engines, shields, or weapons as required. We also heard rumblings of new "glass cannon" weapons that deal increased damage but lower your ship's damage resistances, and CCP tested the public response to the controversial idea of adding permadeath characters to EVE. Player talks were equally informative, giving insights into the world of nullsec Fleet Command and the custom Region Commander software that the game's biggest coalitions use to maintain their grip on power.

If you missed out on the event, read on for links to Massively's coverage of the stream or to watch the stream recordings for yourself.

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Thursday's Nintendo Direct is all about Wii U's Smash Bros.

Nintendo is hosting a new livestream event on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. EST (3:00 p.m. PST), and this one is focused on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The publisher says it will reveal "50 new things" for the game, which will launch on November 21.

It's possible the latest announcements for the fighting game will include the level editor and board game mode mentioned in an Amazon listing late last week. Thursday's Nintendo Direct may also show off poses for trophies in the game, which Game Director Masahiro Sakurai noted in a Miiverse post over the weekend. We're nearly one month out from our review of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, which praised the fighter as "a game that every 3DS owner should play."

Living without a head in The Evil Within

Image Having a head is so last season. All the stylish kids get through the trial and error of The Evil Within without a head.... Continue Reading

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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Stiq Figures, October 6 - 12: Why did I earn that achievement edition

Welcome to Stiq Figures, where the sales data is after the break and the posts don't matter.

Achievements can either feel like cool challenges to chase or irrelevant hoops to jump through. However, this conversation is less about the concept's merits and more about the achievements that we're still unsure why we ever bothered with. Why did we force ourselves through games with an arm effectively tied behind our backs, wielding only our weakest weapon? Was it actually fun? Is there much for bragging rights if you regret spending the time to this day?

I'm definitely not one to judge – when my obsession with achievements was at its prime, my afterschool routine was hours of Perfect Dark Zero, feebly chasing the 1,000-match achievements for multiplayer match types. Before I convinced myself that I didn't care anymore, I cleared Grand Theft Auto 4 of pigeons, found every last Animus fragment in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, and chased Gears of War's 10,000-kill "Seriously" achievement for far longer than I should have.

Which outlandish achievements did you conquer (or attempt to) before realizing you weren't having fun anymore? Share your virtual points-related regrets with us, right after you check out the New 3DS' debut in the Japanese hardware sales numbers after the break!

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Non-PS4 versions of Oddworld: New 'n Tasty still underway, still not dated

PS4 users have been able to enjoy Oddworld: New 'n Tasty, developer Just Add Water's overhauled take on the original release of Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, since July of this year. Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, Vita, PC, Mac, Linux and Wii U owners only have a TBA 2014 window to anticipate however, and series creator Lorne Lanning's recent appearance on the Fragments of Silicon podcast hasn't changed that.

When asked about the remaining releases, Lanning said that while each version is being "adamantly worked on," he would be "an idiot to give you a date." Lanning added that the team is "committed to making sure those games are as good as they can possibly be on those platforms. We're far more committed to that than we are a date."

In terms of the Wii U version, Lanning noted the team is "having challenges with not having a hard disk," and added that "if you're gonna make a game for the Wii U, it better run on the 8 gig unit." Considering the PS4 version of New 'n Tasty is 4.5 GB and the Wii U operating system takes a hefty chunk of the 8 GB model's internal memory, external devices would be the only way to fit New 'n Tasty on that model, unless crafty compression is achieved. A tweet from the series' official account later clarified that space is not the only issue with launching New 'n Tasty on the Wii U.

"At the end of the day, it's ultimately time and money and 'Can you do it?'," Lanning continued, adding that the team is still giving the Wii U version their all. Whichever non-PS4 platform you're anticipating New 'n Tasty's arrival for, your eagerness seems justified based on Weekend Editor Sam Prell's review.

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Super Joystiq Podcast 117: The Evil Within, Far Cry 4, Bayonetta 2

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