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Happy birthday, Nintendo DS

Double digits, Nintendo DS! Little two-screened wonder, the machine that rose Nintendo to the heavens rather than the depths of hell, you turned 10-years-old earlier this month. How far you've taken us, Nintendo DS! As the GameCube floundered back in 2004 and Game Boy Advance was staying afloat thanks to Pokemon, the world scoffed at your weird design. A microphone? A touch screen? Madness! Now there's scarcely a device out there that doesn't sport both features. You sit along the original Nintendo Entertainment System as one of the most successful and influential gaming machines ever.

Now that you're ten, Nintendo DS, it's time to grow up! No more dillydallying with soft batch games like Spectrobes! With a decade under your belt, its time for games that will make you the womanliest woman and manliest man you can be, Nintendo DS. Here are ten games that will make you a grown up. They will teach you things about life, love, triumph and heartbreak. Here, dear DS, are ten games to play on your road to adulthood.

Joystiq Presents: A Zelda Story

Do you remember the first day you played your favorite game? What about the moment you bought that game; what lengths did you go to pick it up? Joystiq's own Reviews Content Director Richard Mitchell (@TheRichardM) recalls the story of the the day he bought The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64, and discusses the patience of his mother with our Community Manager, Anthony John Agnello (@ajohnagnello).

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Persona Q DLC schedule and price points

Persona Q players, listen up. Atlus has laid out the game's DLC release schedule, including prices for each piece. Persona Q launched yesterday, alongside a free bit of DLC, the Kaguya sub-Persona.

Available on December 2, the sub-Persona Orpheus Telos is free, while Magatsu Izanagi and Thanatos are $2 apiece. On December 9, players will be able to purchase Margaret, Elizabeth and Theodore navigator voices for $3 each. On December 16, Marie and Nanako voices will be available for $3 each.

Atlus has also released a series of four videos designed to help players navigate the labyrinths. See those below. Also, check out our review of Persona Q – overall, we found it to be "excellent."
[Image: Atlus]

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Report: Pokemon ORAS tops three million sales in three days

If the past two decades of endless merchandising, cartoons and video games haven't tipped you off, people really like Pokemon. So much so that the latest entries in the core roleplaying series, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, have reportedly sold over three million copies in their first three days of availability.

Famitsu reports (via Siliconera translation) that between the game's November 21 launch and November 24, Japanese consumers purchased over 1.5 million copies of either Pokemon Omega Ruby or Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. Other regions, including North America and Australia, contributed another 1.5 million sales, bringing the three-day total to above three million units sold. Those impressive sales figures could have been even higher, but Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire won't be released in Europe until November 28.

Not just a sales success, our recent review awarded Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire 4.5 of 5 stars. "Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire do little to overhaul the major pillars of a series that's long relied on the same set of classic ideas, but they don't have to," it reads. "The core mechanics of Pokemon remain immensely addictive, and Game Freak's latest coat of polish only enhances an already captivating adventure."

Joystiq's Games of the Year 2006-2008

Those who don't learn from their past are doomed to replay it again and again. In the case of these games from Joystiq's "Best Of" lists from 2006 through 2008, that's not really a bad thing. As we celebrate our decade of existence, it seemed like the right time to look back at the games we thought were the greatest in their respective launch years. (The 2004 and 2005 lists remain classified.)

In some cases, our selections are part of franchises that have stood the test of generations, while others are like trying to recall what happened after that fourth Red Bull with a Mountain Dew chaser. Here are our selections and links to explanations to the best ghosts of Joystiq's past.

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SteamWorld Heist taps Steam Powered Giraffe for OST



Some things are just meant to be together. Image and Form, the developer of steampunk platformer SteamWorld Heist, has partnered with the band Steam Powered Giraffe for the game's original soundtrack. Steam Powered Giraffe is a San Diego band, and its three members perform as steampunky, singing automatons, robotic motions and all. The SteamWorld Heist trailer featuring Steam Powered Giraffe's music is a testament to just how beautiful this union could be.

At first, the deal was for Steam Powered Giraffe to compose a bonus song for the SteamWorld Dig soundtrack included in that game's Collector's Edition, Image and Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson says in a blog post: "Being [Steamworld] Dig fans, they promptly agreed. When James told me I nearly exploded with excitement, and in June we met at E3 and sealed the deal on the entire SteamWorld Heist soundtrack."

SteamWorld Heist is due out in spring 2015 for 3DS and other unannounced platforms.
[Image: Image and Form]

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Smash Bros. sells over 490K on Wii U in three days

Super Smash Bros. is the fastest-selling Wii U game to launch in the United States, according to a press release issued by Nintendo today. The publisher says it sold more than 490,000 copies of the game from its launch on November 21 through November 23. The figure represents sales at retail as well as digital copies of the game.

The sales data pairs well with the portable version of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, which reached over 3.22 million copies sold as of late October. Those that own copies of the game on both platforms will receive the Pokemon character Mewtwo as a playable fighter down the road, though Nintendo may also opt to offer the fighter as premium DLC as well. Nintendo also launched its line of NFC-capable figures on the same day as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Amiibo, which can become pretty dastardly in the fighting game. The publisher did not offer any early sales data for Amiibo.

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Etrian Odyssey's next crossover maps out Mystery Dungeon

Just as Persona Q hits the West, Atlus revealed that another Etrian Odyssey crossover is speeding rather than crawling its way onto 3DS. Etrian Odyssey and the Mystery Dungeon sees the map-making dungeon crawler series mix it up with Spike Chunsoft's long-running roguelike, best known in the West for the recent Pokemon spinoffs. The portable mash-up will be in Japanese hands in just a few months' time, starting March 5, 2015 to be specific.

As Tiny Cartridge notes, the last time Mystery Dungeon broke out of its Pokeball was some six years ago, when Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon trotted onto Wii. As per the recently-unveiled Etrian Odyssey 5, details are scant at the moment beyond a new trailer, which you can check out below the break. That includes word of a Western release, but both series have traditionally found their way abroad in recent years. Plus, there's some English text right at the end of the video: "Dungeon RPG is forever. This is the new origin."

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Marvel's Venom infects Zen Pinball games next month

Zen Studios announced a new table for its pinball games based on the popular villain from Marvel's Spider-Man universe, Venom. The table explores Venom's rivalry with Spider-Man as well as Carnage, the offspring of the dark Symbiote, hosted by the first of Venom's victims from the webbed superhero's comics, Eddie Brock.

As with Zen Studios' other tables, the add-on will launch for multiple Zen Pinball and Pinball FX games on December 10 and December 11. It will cost $2.99 (€2.99/£2.49) for Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX 2 players on PS4, PS3, Vita, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U. Those playing Zen Pinball, Zen Pinball HD and Marvel Pinball on iOS and Android will need to pay $1.99 (€1.79/£1.49) to access the Venom table in those games.
[Image: Zen Studios]

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Joystiq Streams: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker's wild ride on Wii U

Sick of living in the shadow of monarchs and plumbers, Toad and Toadette are striking out on their own. No more waiting in an angry turtle's castle just to tell you to look somewhere else for a princess! No more playing second fiddle in the platforming antics of Mario and his pals! Toadette and Toad seek only the thrill of the open road, the intoxicating rush of discovery. Their quest for independence and untold riches is irresistible, and so we must acquiesce: Today we stream Captain Toad:Treasure Tracker for Nintendo Wii U.

Join us as we dive into a smattering of levels from Nintendo's new puzzler adventure for Wii U on Joystiq Streams. Spoiler alert: We will, in the course of the game, be solving puzzles, so if you'd rather not see the solutions, avert thine eyes! We'll begin the action on Joystiq.com/Twitch at 4:00PM EST.

Dig our streams? Follow us on Twitch to catch them all.
[Images: Nintendo]

Rayman Legends concept video showcases scrapped NFC features


While Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and its Amiibo army are currently dominating store shelves, Ubisoft's Rayman Legends was once slated to be the first Wii U game to offer figure-powered nearfield communication (NFC) features, Unseen 64 reports.

The concept trailer above, intended for internal use within Ubisoft, shows players summoning new elements into levels by placing figures (including a Rabbid toy) on the Wii U gamepad. The footage features a prototype Wii U controller that hadn't finalized its NFC technology, so figures are placed on the gamepad's screen, rather than on the NFC badge present in the final version. Ubisoft eventually scrapped its plans for NFC support, and Rayman Legends figures never made it to retail.

Unseen 64 additionally shows off concept art for levels that didn't make the cut for the final version of Rayman Legends, including a recently unearthed "Dracula's Castle" world. A concept video showcasing these levels is available here.

[Video: Ubisoft / Liam Robertson]

Fox loses his head in Super Smash Bros. glitch video

Image Something strange is going on in the world of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U...in this one bugged copy of the game, anyway. Player Terrence Boykin has taken to Miiverse to post screenshots of misshapen Marios, Yoshis, and Zero Suit Samuses, but the newly-released video above is the real kicker. What... Continue Reading

Grand Theft Auto 5 becomes the UK's all-time bestseller

The new king of Britain is Grand Theft Auto 5, after it claimed the crown for the most units sold in the nation in the ever of ever. On the back of hitting PS4 and Xbox One, Rockstar's latest crime circus usurped the former rule of Call of Duty: Black Ops, according to data-bods Chart Track. While Chart Track didn't report specific sales figures, MCV claims GTA 5 was at "almost 4 million" units sold in the UK ahead of its arrival on the newest systems.

As per other re-releases, GTA 5 offers enhanced graphics on PS4 and Xbox One. In its case, however, there's also the undoubted showpiece of the new first-person camera.

"Rather than lowering the camera and shoving it in the chests of its three protagonists, GTA 5's first-person mode adds detailed animations that give the perspective a feeling more akin to simulation than a shooter," said Joystiq's Xav de Matos in our updated review.

GTA 5 isn't the only rock star in this week's UK charts, so head below the break to see how well Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition did, and just how badly Sonic Boom flopped. You'll also find the UK top ten and, as ever, the minimally-beloved customary music video.

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Walmart and Amazon list more Amiibo figures for December 14

We already knew that Amiibo figures for Captain Falcon, Diddy Kong, Little Mac, Luigi, Pit and Zelda would be worming their way into our hearts and onto our shelves sometime in December, but Amazon and Walmart seem to have narrowed that window down to a single day: December 14.

When browsing Walmart's website, a release date of 12/14/2014 can be seen next to each of the aforementioned figures, ditto for Amazon. And it's not just online listings - the official Walmart Twitter account has also seemingly confirmed the date. "Yes, the release date for Captain Falcon Amiibo is set for December 14," the "Walmart Elves" tweeted to a prospective Amiibo purchaser after he inquired if the date was official.

Of course, numbers on the internet and even Santa's helpers can be wrong from time to time, but it probably wouldn't hurt to stake out your spot in line if there's a particular figure you need to add to your collection.
[Image: Nintendo]

Meta Knight Amiibo exclusive to Best Buy, Lucario to Toys R Us

Where's the fun in collecting something if you can just place a one-and-done order for the entire set with an online retailer? Amiibo fans are in for some legwork (or a few extra clicks), as two more retailer-exclusive deals have been announced concerning February's batch of Amiibos: Meta Knight will reside exclusively at Best Buy, whereas Lucario can only be found between the tall shelves of Toys R Us.

This pair of exclusives follows news of Xenoblade Chronicles' Shulk continuing his series' GameStop-exclusive legacy when he arrives in the same set of Amiibos as Lucario and Meta Knight. At least existing partnerships are with mostly-easy-to-locate retailer chains – things will get a little more interesting with the announcement of an Ice Climbers Amiibo, which we assume will only be sold at a rickety shack atop Mount Everest.
[Image: Nintendo]

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