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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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Joystiq Streams: Secret Ponchos grudge match giveaway

This is what Joystiq knows about ponchos: they keep you warm, look cool while you're riding a horse in a storm, are appropriate attire for selling burritos outside a Phish concert, and they make excellent dog beds when you're done with them. The things we don't know about ponchos? That's a secret.

Switchblade Monkeys has the arcane knowledge that Joystiq covets. Secret Ponchos is Switchblade's new PvP shooter, hitting PC and PlayStation 4 this year and currently available through Steam Early Access. Always willing to fight for our right to party and know things about ponchos, Joystiq will take on Switchblade Monkeys in their own game on Joystiq Streams.

We'll be playing the brand new 4-versus-4-player mode in Secret Ponchos on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4PM EST. While Joystiq pits its negligible skills against Switchblade, we'll also be giving out free copies of the game in the chat while we play.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts regularly on Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but if you never want to miss a surprise stream make sure to follow us on Twitch!
[Images: Switchblade Monkeys]

EA unveils Xbox One subscription service, EA Access

Following the success of Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, EA has unveiled its own Xbox One-exclusive subscription service dubbed EA Access.

Those who spend $5 per month (or $30 per year) on an EA Access subscription will be granted free, all-you-can-play access to the publisher's biggest Xbox One games, including Battlefield 4, Peggle 2, FIFA 14 and Madden NFL 25. EA plans to add to this selection of games over time, and according to a Game Informer tweet, the publisher has "no plans" to remove content in the future. In addition to the gratis games, EA Access members receive 10 percent discounts on all of EA's digital Xbox One content and are granted access to big EA releases up to five days prior to their official debut.

Keep in mind, there are caveats to this promotion. EA describes that early access as a "a limited trial," and not access to the full game. Further, according to the fine print, Titanfall is "excluded from all EA Access features," and given the service's mention of unlimited online play, it stands to reason that an Xbox Live Gold subscription is required for full use of EA Access. If your interest is still piqued, you can find everything you need to enroll in EA Access at the program's official website.
[Image: EA]

Oddworld: New N Tasty review: Fresh produce

Question: When is a video game remake not a remake? Answer: When it adds enough new ideas and tweaks existing content so that the resulting product is neither a re-hash nor a re-imagining. When it doesn't stop at HD textures and smoother character models, and instead opts for new gameplay, expanded objectives and modern conveniences.

When is a remake not a remake? When it's Oddworld: New N Tasty.

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Trials Fusion rides into the rustlands in first DLC pack


Ubisoft takes players to a grittier side of the Trials universe today in "Riders of the Rustlands," the first of six planned Season Pass DLC packs planned for Trials Fusion.

Riders of the Rustlands takes place in a wasteland outside of the squeaky-clean cityscapes featured Trials Fusion's core content, challenging riders with level layouts made up of makeshift metal platforms and rusty abandoned structures. The pack introduces six new Classic Trials tracks, two Supercross levels, one Skill Game, and one FMX track, along with a collection of 18 new Track Challenges.

Riders of the Rustlands is available as part of Trials Fusion's Season Pass, and is priced at $4.99 as a standalone download.

[Video: Ubisoft]

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PAX 10 spotlights Framed and Duet

This year's PAX 10, a collection of games from independent developers, has been determined and will be highlighted at next month's PAX Prime convention. The ten games were hand-picked by 50 industry experts, starting with Duet, Kumobius' elegant arcade-style action game for iOS. Duet is joined by LoveShack's Framed, a narrative puzzle game trapped in a comic world. Both Duet and Framed received attention earlier this year when the games were among six total mobile titles in the PAX East Indie Showcase.

Those two games are joined by an abstract 2D PC platformer from DigiPen's Neat Snake known as Flickers. Infinity Monkeys' Life Goes On is also in the mix, in which players set out to find the Cup of Life by ironically sacrificing knights to the game's deathly contraptions. Untame's amorphous puzzler Mushroom 11 will be included in the showcase, as will Funktronic Labs' sci-fi, turn-based adventure game Nova-111.

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Infamous: First Light in the pink on Europe's retail shelves

A physical edition of standalone PS4 entry Infamous: First Light will light up Europe's storefronts on September 10. The Infamous: Second Son prequel is also coming to the region in download form, and according to the PS Store, that hits a smidgen earlier on August 27. That tallies with the listing of August 26 for North America.

First Light revisits the story of Abigail "Fetch" Walker, the delinquent Neon-empowered Conduit that you meet early in Second Son. The content - which you don't need Second Son to play - focuses on Fetch's journey to becoming the hardened killer she is in the main game, taking players back in time to a dark past lurking underneath her fuchsia locks.

There's no word on how much the physical copies cost, but First Light is priced £12 on the UK PS Store and $15 stateside. Check below the break to see the box art in full.

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Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky lands on Steam, out today


If you're unfamiliar with Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, that may be because Nihon Falcom's acclaimed PSP JRPG only headed West towards the end of the system's life cycle. The good news is there's now a new way of playing it, with the trilogy's first chapter coming to Steam later today, courtesy of XSEED.

XSEED is also bringing follow-up Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter to North America on PSP and Steam, but that's gonna take a bit more time to arrive. According to the publisher, the best fans should hope for is "the end of the year."

As for Trails in the Sky, its regular Steam price is $20 but there's a 15 percent first-week sale if you fancy dipping in early. For more on why it's worth a look, read this.

[Thanks, Jason K!]

Just you and your Shadow Warrior on consoles this September

Bandai Namco confirmed it's bringing Shadow Warrior to PS4 and Xbox One in Europe on September 26. Majesco's not yet announced a US date beyond "late September," but GameStop's listing of September 23 tallies with the typical three-day gap between regions.

Described as a "bold re-imagining" of 3D Realms' 1997 shooter, the new Shadow Warrior hit PC around the same time last year. It retained a few Lo Wang jokes but toned down the stereotyping, delivering a more modern mix of first-person shooting and swordfighting.

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3D Blu-ray support arrives in latest PlayStation 4 update

PlayStation 4's latest firmware is available to download and install now, bringing 3D Blu-ray support to the system as promised. If you're hoping for the same feature on Xbox One, it's due to hit in next month's system update.

Today's PS4 update also means users can choose to automatically download "Featured Content" from the PlayStation Store - according to Sony Europe's Chris Owen that includes things like demos and time-limited trials, and no charged content. Also, system messages that were in the top right will now appear in the top left, and most importantly of all, the sound quality on 1.5x DVD and Blu-ray playback is improved. Finally, we can all move on!
[Image: Fox]

Watch The Last of Us: One Night Live, but not the unseen epilogue


If you played The Last of Us and thought "hey this would make a really great stage show" then you're kind of weird. But also perhaps a visionary, since a The Last of Us stage show is exactly what Naughty Dog and Sony put on last night in a special one-off performance.

It's of course closer to a table read than a grand Broadway spectacle, but if you like seeing voice actors like Troy Baker (Joel) and Ashley Johnson (Ellie) apply themselves to their roles, it's worth a watch. Also, rather than telling the full plot, the show takes select scenes from various parts of Naughty Dog's horror. In short, it doesn't really explain the story but it sure as heck spoils it, so if you've not played the game, go do that first (it's really good!)

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This Destiny beta footage came from the moon

Image For two hours on Saturday, Bungie opened the gates to the moon in the Destiny beta. Historian of all things moon related, Joystiq invites you to watch this footage of the mission. Spoilers: We found wizards! The beta has since ended, but Destiny launches on September 9 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3... Continue Reading

GaymerX in dire straits after NIS America pulls pledge [update]

An email sent late on Monday afternoon is incurring a dour situation for the organizers of GaymerX2, an LGBTQ-focused and inclusive convention held in San Francisco on July 11-13. The marketing coordinator for niche publisher and developer NIS America reached out to event founder, Matt Conn, to apologize and renege on a pledge of $3000.

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The lighter side of murder with Jenny LeClue

Young detective Jenny LeClue is the star of a fictional choose-your-own-adventure book series written by Arthur K. Finklestein, and her latest story is her most important yet – her mother is accused of murder, and it's up to Jenny to figure out who did it and why. As a game, Jenny LeClue is an investigative point-and-click adventure where each player's unique decisions impact not only the lives of Jenny and her family, but also the life of the author, Finklestein himself.

Jenny LeClue is as lighthearted as a game about murder can be, with a hand-painted art style, a rich world in the town of Arthurton and an incisive dialogue mechanic that allows players to inspect suspects for physical clues while they talk. Developer Mografi sees Jenny LeClue as a trilogy of games, with the first one as a coming-of-age story:

"This is a game about your choices and how they permanently affect the story. We want to deliver a rich narrative experience about relationships with delightful surprises and interactions. The story also deals with mature themes, complex characters and an epic tangled mystery."

Mografi is looking for $65,000 on Kickstarter to fund the first episode of Jenny LeClue, due out first for PC, Mac and Linux, with iOS and other platforms to follow. With 25 days to go, the campaign has raised more than $27,000.
[Images: Mografi]

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A persona fit for Pillars of Eternity

Before computer-generated worlds came to life, we were running through dungeons in our heads, with rules on paper to govern our actions. Pillars of Eternity remembers those days and the games they inspired, and not just because it has an isometric perspective, or soul-storms, or tactical combat and special armor types, or even character creation. It's that right from the beginning, there's a space for the player to tweak the details, write a personality and imagine someone being there.

The real challenge – and the agony – of a traditional role-playing game lies at the beginning, in the dungeon named ... "character creation." It inspires a dread worse than any stone golem or world-eating viper, because you want to make someone fit to save the world and gallivant through it for at least a hundred hours. Will she wield an axe or a bow? Tall or short? Pointy ears or wizard's cap? Is this name going to sound like high fantasy, or like fantasy fiction while high? And no matter how many times you save the world, you don't want to be forever known as that guy with the weird eyebrows. Let's just lower them a bit.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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