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Never Alone blends clever platforming with cultural insight

I like to think of Never Alone as a less depressing version of 2011's indie hit, Limbo. It features similar environment-based puzzle-platforming in an unforgiving world, but its buddy-system mechanics give an encouraging sense of optimism throughout.

This isn't to say that you won't be challenged in Never Alone. You'll fail its platforming sequences frequently, and its puzzles are suitably vexing. It's a clever and solid entry in the genre, and its focus on Native Alaskan culture gives it a weight and purpose beyond its inventive gameplay.

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Dance Central Spotlight, Warframe out today for Xbox One


The stylish twosome of Warframe's sleek ninjas and Dance Central Spotlight's hip-hop curves are both available now on Xbox One. For those who've yet to try Warframe on PC or PS4, the free-to-play multiplayer co-op shooter is best experienced with a group of friends. The game's had significant updates since it launched a year ago.

Dance Central Spotlight is the Xbox One's introduction to the only game worth having a Kinect for. The $9.99 starter kit includes 10 songs, with additional tracks available at $1.99 apiece. All DLC, Harmonix says, "from previously purchased versions of Dance Central on Xbox 360 are Spotlight-compatible." We've placed the list of core and downloadable dance tracks after the break.

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Dead or Alive 5: Last Round returns on last generation too

When it launches next spring, Dead or Alive: Last Round - pinkie promise - is going to be the second re-release of Team Ninja's fighter to hit Xbox 360 and PS3. In fairness to DOA5, Street Fighter 4 is already up to three on that count.

As revealed over the weekend, the new version is also coming to PS4 and Xbox One where Team Ninja boss Yosuke Hayashi promises "the most graphically striking version of any Dead or Alive game ever." For returning players moving to PS4 and Xbox One, Koei Tecmo said previously bought DLC is transferable from last-gen consoles to the new ones.

For a first look at Last Round, check out the new trailer below the break.

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Mighty No. 9 starts backers-only beta

Early access keys for Mighty No. 9 have been sent to the game's beta-level backers, Comcept announced on the game's Kickstarter page Sunday. Those that pledged at least $80 to get a taste of Keiji Inafune's latest creation ahead of the rest of its community should have received their keys in the past few days. Additionally, backers will also receive a free copy of Mighty Gunvolt, the retro-style crossover of Mighty No. 9 and Inti Creates' Azure Striker Gunvolt.

Mighty No. 9 was announced during PAX Prime last year. It went on to earn over $3.8 million on Kickstarter, the most of any project during a full year that saw 340 other successful Kickstarter games. The developer also recently issued a new video, found after the break, that shows the Mega Man creator play-testing a competitive multiplayer mode in the game, online race battle.

Mighty No. 9 will launch in spring 2015 for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Mac, Linux, 3DS, Wii U and Vita.
[Image: Comcept]

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Globe-trotting with Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions

It wouldn't be fair to Lucid Games to say that Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is "just more Geometry Wars," and then leave one's impressions at that. Announced just a few weeks ago, the game literally takes the series where it has never been, primarily thanks to new three-dimensional visuals (with a pun-tastic title to match). In all honesty though, calling it "more Geometry Wars" serves as a reassurance to the twin-stick series' devotees that its fast-paced action hasn't gone anywhere.

My time with Geometry Wars 3 at PAX Prime in Seattle demonstrated that the game fits perfectly with its 2D brethren. Piloting the iconic, angular cruiser through galactic grids felt as tight as ever, while slipping past threats and rapidly firing laser-like bullets at geometric baddies is as chaotic as ever. It took a few attempts to get acquainted with the game's latest twist, though the enemy and bullet behavior is just that, a "twisted" version of the previous games.

The flat grid-like playing field fans are used to is now a sphere, tube, pill, peanut or one of numerous other shapes, depending on which of the single-player mode's 50 levels you jump into. Every element in play is stuck to the surface like Nintendo's iconic plumber in Super Mario Galaxy, but ultimately Geometry Wars 3 draws some appropriate comparisons to Super Stardust HD. Missiles rocketed past my ship and around the bend of some levels, but aiming for the more distant neon creatures never felt like a real shot in the dark, if I'm allowed to make my own puns here.

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Seen@PAX: A girl and her adorable teddy bear

There are some video game characters and props we don't mind seeing transformed into life-sized statues - Evolve's Goliath monster is undeniably cool, and seeing the Batmobile at E3 made our feet yearn to press pedal to metal - but sometimes things you find cute and cuddly from a distance turn out to be chilling and creepy up close.

Such is the case of League of Legends' Annie, a little girl who can transform her teddy bear from being a huggable, wuv-able wittle fwend into ... well, just take a look. They call him Mister Tibbers.

Nano Assault Neo dodges bullets on PS4 later this year [update]

Nano Assault Neo is confirmed for PS4 now, and it's bringing its 3D rotational twin-stick shooting to the system in 1080p. Developer Shin'en Multimedia tweeted the new port of the 2012 Wii U game features PS4-specific improvements, though it's not yet detailed what those are. We've reached out to Shin'en to learn more, including whether or not the two-player local coop will make its way across.

As PEGI revealed over the weekend, the new PS4 port is called Nano Assault Neo X - when in doubt, chuck in a X. Shin'en says we can expect the game to shoot onto PSN later this year, and for an idea of what to expect, check out the Wii U trailer below the break. Also, the original Nano Assault Neo is currently available on the eShop for $7.49, 25 percent off the regular price, until September 11.

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Left 4 Dead 2 uncensored classified in Australia

Residents over the age of majority in the great nation of Australia are now permitted to legally purchase Left 4 Dead 2 in its unedited state on PC. Kotaku Australia confirmed with developer Valve that the new rating had been implemented.

"We are making plans to deliver that version to those who have already purchased the game. We will announce more details on that soon," Valve's Doug Lombardi told Kotaku.

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NCsoft might allow players to resurrect the City of Heroes IP

Rise.
There's good news for City of Heroes fans to celebrate now, even if it's not a finished thing yet. Nate Downes, President of Missing Worlds Media, has posted about a project wholly unrelated to City of Titans and yet entirely tied to it: the quest to resurrect the City of Heroes IP. He explains a story that began in September of last year, starting with a few contacts within NCsoft who led to the ultimate goal of resurrecting the last version of the game as well as licensing out the IP to its spiritual successors.

The proposal currently on the table before NCsoft would allow the game's spiritual successors to drop the "spiritual" portion of their title, enable a restoration of the game's servers for the last update (albeit with no saved character data), and create the potential for a "transition" server between the original game and its successors. While it's far from a done deal, it's the best news that the former residents of Paragon City have heard since the lights went dark -- there may be brightness on the horizon.

Sony's Metal Slime PlayStation 4 comes with a piece of gunk

We touched on it yesterday in the hubbub of Sony Japan & Asia's press conference, but here's a proper look at the Metal Slime PS4 that's coming to Japan. We're guessing your two immediate questions upon discovering this are 1. Why? 2. What's that thing?

Well, the why is to commemorate the release of Dragon Quest Heroes, the new PS4 and PS3 Hyrule Warriors-like crossover that will combine the world of Square Enix's RPG series with action crafted by Dynasty Warriors devs. That's due in spring 2015. As for what that thing is - the happy little slimy dude - it's a removable USB cover rather than a permanent fixture. We're filing it under S for "Sure..." and Y for "Why not, I guess?"

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call demo waiting in the wings

Europeans can conduct a trial of Theatrhythm Final Final Curtain Call when a demo hits their eShop on Thursday, September 4. We've reached out to Square Enix for word on the same for North America, but given the rhythm game releases in both regions on the same week, it seems likely the demo will hit stateside this week too.

The Japanese demo that was available just ahead of release featured two songs: "Edgar and Sabin's Theme" from Final Fantasy 6 and the piano version of "Those Who Fight" from Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children. Battle, Event and Field categories were playable for both songs, but the new two-player versus mode wasn't.

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Hot Shots Golf trailer brings green screens to PS4

This morning Sony published the reveal of the brand new Hot Shots Golf for PS4, as first broadcast during yesterday's pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference in Japan. Don't be fooled by that Bob Green fellow at the beginning, this really isn't Fat Cat Simulator 2014. Someone should make that if that hasn't been done already, which it probably has.

The debut footage gives us a glimpse into the how Sony's oddball sportsballer looks on PS4, and the cutesy Shuhei Yoshida cameo suggests the series' super-deformed style isn't going anywhere anytime soon. During yesterday's stream, Yoshida said (as translated by Sony) the game features "open world entertainment focusing on golf." Interesting, even if we're a country mile from knowing what it means.

Check out the trailer below the break.

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(Not) Seen@PAX Prime: The many outfits of Assassin's Creed

Image PAX Prime in Seattle was host to many displays that celebrate video game series. Ubisoft's booth included several mannequins donning the outfits of characters from its rich Assassin's Creed series. Honestly, we just couldn't find most of them.... Continue Reading

Beyond: Two Souls PS4 trophies emerge, Director's Cut reported

We're going to level with you. If there is any PS3 game from the last two years or so that you've been waiting to buy, you should consider waiting a little longer – because someone is probably remastering it as we speak. The latest to join the ever-growing pile of prettified PS3 re-releases could be the super cinematic, often goofy Page/Cage joint, Beyond: Two Souls.

A Director's Cut version of Beyond for PS4 was spotted on two German retail sites, according to IGN, though the listings have since been removed. Furthermore, online gaming activity site Exophase has posted trophies for the game, providing more evidence that our digital Willem Dafoe nightmares are far from over, and they're about to get an HD upgrade.

Pre-order Destiny on Xbox One, get launch-day delivery, $10 gift card

Those interested in a boxed Xbox One copy of Destiny can snag a few extra perks by pre-ordering this week through the Microsoft Store. Pre-order before September 5 at 5PM ET to lock down launch-day delivery, and all Microsoft pre-orders come with a $10 gift card in digital code form.

Those who opt for a digital Xbox One version of Destiny are able to download the game's data before its release on September 9. This won't unlock the game early, but you'll be ready to roll when everything goes live on launch day.
[Image: Activision]

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 110: The Walking Dead, Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright, NHL 15

Latest episode: Friday, August 29th, 2014

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