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Joystiq's got a new home! As of February 4th, Joystiq and Engadget are teaming up on a new project that will live on Engadget: 'Joystiq X Engadget.' There's a new logo and everything! Our focus is on the intersection of life and games: what, why and how we play. Expect more streams, more reviews and more news, but also expect a renewed focus on the way games intersect with our world. This is just the beginning.

Day-one patch adding Challenge Mode to Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors who are looking for a test of skills that goes beyond the game's Adventure Mode will be glad to hear that, as reported by Nintendo World Report, developer Koei Tecmo will be releasing a day-one patch that adds Challenge Mode to the game when it releases in North America on September 26.

So just what is Challenge Mode? According to members of a Nintendo Treehouse stream made earlier this week, it's basically "Adventure Mode on steroids." So ... it's tougher and angrier, but also has some acne problems and premature balding? Whatever you say, Nintendo.

Obviously that's a joke, but the truth of the matter is we won't know what Challenge Mode has in store for us until later this month. Remember warriors, patience is a virtue.
[Image: Nintendo/Koei Tecmo]

Surgeon Simulator dev expands curriculum in Twelve a Dozen

Would you trust Bossa Studios, developers of the questionably-medically-accurate Surgeon Simulator, to teach basic math skills? Educational organization Amplify did, and the result of their collaboration is Twelve a Dozen, a puzzle-focused platformer that subtly teaches simple calculations and the order of operations.

In Twelve A Dozen, players guide Twelve and her companion Dot in an effort to save Twelve's family as a disaster descends upon Dozenopolis. Twelve's lesson plan spans 30 levels' worth of puzzles, with more coming in an eventual update. The App Store description notes that Twelve A Dozen is meant to support the curriculum of those aged 10 - 14, but all iPad users can brush up on the basics for $4.99 (£2.99).

Just ... don't go thinking you're a few hours away from practicing heart surgery once you can do algebra in your sleep.
[Image: Bossa Studios]

Mobile game HipstaFox is everything its name promises

And now, a scene from the Joystiq documentary, "What Does The Fox Play: Games Starring Foxes":

The red fox (vulpes vulpes) is a solitary creature that cares little for what other creatures in the animal kingdom think about it. In HipstaFox, we see one trouncing through the forest, collecting flowers to the beat of piano music. A ritual for his kind.

He's collected quite a few, but he'll have to add some flair to his run if he hopes to attract a mate before the winter season.

Luckily, our red-furred friend can trade in those flowers to purchase bowler hats, bow ties, thick-rimmed glasses and other fashionable accessories to make himself stand out as the biggest and best hipster fox in the forest. His journey, available on iOS and Android, is far from over.
[Image: Fluffy Wiggle]

Pikmin shorts to debut at Tokyo International Film Festival

Variety reports that Pikmin Short Movies, a collection of animated shorts produced by Pikmin series creator Shigeru Miyamoto, will debut at the Tokyo International Film Festival. Sometime during the festival's run from October 25 - 31, Miyamoto will hold a presentation with Dwango head Nobuo Kawakami, which is the parent company of livestreaming service Nico Nico Douga.

Pikmin Short Movies is comprised of three animated shorts; "The Night Juicer," a scene that plays with the idea of Captain Olimar blending up Pikmin, "Treasures in a Bottle," which involves an odd treasure, and "Occupational Hazards," which plays out at a construction site.

We first learned that Miyamoto was working on Pikmin cartoons a year ago, when they were still planned to be released before Pikmin 3. At the time, Miyamoto mused that they may end up on the 3DS' Nintendo Video service or be sold on the eShop.
[Image: Nintendo]

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father remake lands October 15

Revisiting Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers on modern platforms will become much simpler on October 15, when developers Pinkerton Road Studio and Phoenix Online Studios release a remake celebrating the adventure's 20th anniversary. PC and Mac users can prove their point-and-click prowess by pre-ordering at Steam, Good Old Games and Phoenix's online store in exchange for a soundtrack and a 15 percent discount, leaving their total at $17.

When the Sins of the Fathers remake was initially estimated for a mid-2014 arrival, iOS and Android ports were also mentioned, but release dates for mobile versions were absent from Pinkerton's press release.

Purists may be comforted with a reminder that Pinkerton Road Studio was launched by Gabriel Knight series creator Jane Jensen.
[Image: Pinkerton Road]

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Adventure game Paradigm stars a mutant hero and sloth villain

Paradigm is an in-development point-and-click adventure from Jacob Janerka, an independent game developer from Australia. To call it "surreal" would not encompass the sheer absurdity on display here.

In Paradigm, players control a lab-grown mutant who dreams of becoming the best electronic musician in the world. Along his journey to produce his EP (and save the world), he'll come across a beatboxing eggplant, a pug who is also a professional wrestler, and an evil sloth with Donald Trump hair named Olof.

Janerka is currently seeking $14,000 AUD on Kickstarter to finish his game, and at time of writing, his campaign has amassed just more than $8,000 AUD, with 22 days left for backers to pledge. If you want to get an idea of the game's quality before you fork over your cash though, there's a downloadable alpha available via the Kickstarter page.

Paradigm is slated to be completed and shipped mid-2015 on Windows, Mac and Linux. Paradigm is also on Steam Greenlight, awaiting enough votes so that it may appear on Valve's digital store. You can check out the game's Kickstarter pitch video after the break.

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Mega Man 7 acquires Wii U power, now available on eShop

Mega Man 7, a rare SNES game featuring Capcom's "Blue Bomber," is no longer quite so hard to find; it's waiting patiently in the eShop, so that you and every other Wii U owner can give it a spin.

"Released somewhat late in the SNES cycle, Mega Man 7 somewhat slipped through the cracks during its initial release," Capcom community manager Brett Elston wrote on the company's blog, where he announced the release.

There's more than a handful of Mega Man games available via Wii U now - Mega Man 1-7, Mega Man X and Mega Man: Battle Network to name a few. As for the number of evil robots defeated by the automaton hero, Mega Man 7 brings the number up to ... uh ... a lot.
[Image: Capcom]

Credit-stealing space cows and other Mass Effect series facts

A new video from the folks over at Did You Know Gaming will take you on a space odyssey, as guest host Really Freakin Clever narrates little-known bits of trivia related to the Mass Effect series.

There's a lot of behind-the-scenes information here that explores the series' origins, as well as why the iconic races look the way they do. The Krogan, for example, were created by combining attributes of bugs and bats, while Salarian scientist Mordin's grizzled look was inspired by Clint Eastwood. Oh, and then there's that shifty space cow out to steal your money.

Yes, that is a real thing in the original Mass Effect. Want to see it in action and learn some more interesting facts? Check out the video after the break.

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Elite: Dangerous' pre-order incentives include a new ride

Prior to the upcoming Elite: Dangerous, the series' last space venture was in 1995. Dusting off the old ships in your hanger is always an option, but what about the wiring? Are you sure that's still up to code? Did you ever clean the remnants of your intergalactic fast food stops out from the cockpit? You could spend a weekend bringing your ship back to speed, or you could just pre-order Elite: Dangerous - Mercenary Edition for $50 and make a new Eagle fighter your primary ride.

Aside from a new ship, pre-ordering grants eager pilots a pack of paint jobs, a "Day One" ship decal, a digital players' guide and concept art book, and "more digital goodies" that will be announced over the coming weeks. Mercenary Edition's listing also notes this content is exclusive to pre-orders, which could keep sightings of your model fairly uncommon in the vastness of space.

Elite: Dangerous is due to make contact with PC and Mac in 2014, though anyone willing to part with $75 can get into the beta today.
[Image: Frontier Developments]

Guide a jellyfish swarm under the sea in Jelly Reef

How do you guide a bloom of jellyfish to the ocean floor if you can't actually speak their language? You inherit the power to guide oceanic currents and push them to safety using the water around them. The thought of a life-defining force bending to the finger swipes of an onmiprescent higher power may terrify some, but that doesn't seem to be the case in Game Oven's Jelly Reef. Look at their peppy little faces – they're just happy to be here!

In Game Oven's stark departure from its ballet-supplementing Bounden, players will dodge hazards, dive into secret paths and gather jelly eggs spread through 26 levels. Their jellyfish swarm will cross paths with non-aggressive forms of sealife as well, with creatures like a crab, starfish and manta ray awaiting help with their own mini-stories.

Jelly Reef is due to take a dip on Windows Phones by the end of 2014, with a release on iOS and Android following sometime next year.
[Image: Game Oven]

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Weekly Webcomic Wrapup's destiny lies in the stars

It's been a long time coming, but Bungie's Destiny is finally here. We don't have a final word / review up yet, but if you're dying to know what we think, you can always check out our roundtable discussion or any of the other articles we have on the game.

But Destiny is not the only game featuring space-faring heroes on a quest to save the galaxy. Bungie's own Halo games were quite similar in many ways to their new quasi-MMO shooter, and BioWare's Mass Effect trilogy is well-regarded as a defining series of the previous generation of gaming. So my question to you is: What's your favorite starbound game? What's the most fun you've had with a sci-fi setting in video games?

Tell us your answer in the comments, but make sure to vote for your favorite webcomic after the break, too!

Penny Arcade (Face Time)
Manly Guys Doing Manly Things (You are aware of how marine mammals work, right?)
Critical Miss (Destiny's Plot Explained)
ReadySoup (NSFW) (My Hands Are Tied)
Awkward Zombie (World Weary)
VG Cats (2.B.A. Master)

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Fotonica is dashing into the distance on iOS right now

After getting a running start on PC, Mac and Ouya, Fotonica has leaped to iOS devices to continue sprinting through wireframe environments at a breakneck speed. At $2.99, developer Santa Ragione's one-button runner is a reasonably-priced chance to fry your brain trying to jump, glide and dash through Fotonica's seven levels. If you need something beyond personal bests to conquer, you can also share half your screen with a friend for Fotonica's two-player mode.

Staring at still images of Fotonica doesn't quite get its sense of speed across though – check its iOS launch trailer after the break to fully realize its blazing pace.
[Image: Santa Ragione]

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Shovel Knight digs a tunnel to Mac, Linux version coming

Shovel Knight has pogo-hopped his way to Mac computers, developer Yacht Club Games announced via its Steam and Kickstarter pages earlier this week. Steam users on Mac need not take any extra steps to get their copies up and running, but those who prefer to go through GOG and the Humble Store should keep an eye out for when new builds become available.

Linux support is still incoming, with no specified release date. Likewise, versions for Europe and Australia are in development. "We are so sorry this has taken so long ... and we are preemptively sorry on how much longer it's going to take," Yacht Club Games wrote in its Kickstarter update.

We can't say we're terribly surprised, considering how long it must take to dig through all that code using a shovel. Hyuck hyuck!
[Image: Yacht Club Games]

Excavated ET cartridges will be sold, distributed to museums

Remember when Xbox Entertainment Studios and Lightbox Entertainment spent a weekend digging up a bunch of Atari cartridges from a landfill? Both studios may have gotten the documentary footage they were looking for, but what do you do with the cartridges after the joy of proving an urban tale fades? In the case of Alamogordo, the town that has jurisdiction over said landfill, you sell more than half of them.

Reuters reports that the Alamogordo City Council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to sell around 800 of the 1,300 excavated games, with listings to be hosted on eBay and the council's website. The haul includes hundreds of copies of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the keystone of Atari's video game burial story. Joe Lewandowski, who served as dig site supervisor when Microsoft, Lightbox and a small crowd watched excavators dig up trash in the desert, told Retuers that sales should begin in two weeks and wrap by Christmas.

As for the 500 other cartridges, the City of Alamogordo intends to keep some as mementos, with the rest being donated to museums worldwide. You know what they say: One city's trash is another museum's piece of video game history.
[Image: Microsoft]

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-'s Limited Edition detailed

North American Guilty Gear fans can spend anywhere from $50 to $80 on the incoming Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- (pronunciation help here), depending on how many real-world trinkets they'd like and the console they intend to drain life meters on. As preorder pages from Amazon dictate, a Standard Edition copy of Xrd -SIGN- on PS3 will go for $50, with its PS4 counterpart running for $60. Xrd -SIGN-'s North American-exclusive Limited Edition will follow the same pattern, with the PS3 version costing $70 and the PS4 build pulling off an $80 combo on wallets.

As for what makes the Limited Edition so special, a press release from publisher Aksys notes the bonuses of an outer box styled after the series' Backyard, complete with "gears and high-quality binding," a soundtrack arranged by series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari, and a roster-encompassing art book that also includes work for Gear XX Accent Core Plus and Guilty Gear 2 Overture. A keychain replica of Sol's belt buckle with the word "Free" carved in rounds out the offering.

Though preorders are live, the press release only offers up a holiday season launch window, so we'll have to wait a little longer to learn when exactly it'll be time to rock. Regardless of which version you purchase however, Xrd -SIGN-'s crossplay compatibility means PS3 and PS4 owners will eventually all be fighting in the same community.
[Image: Aksys Games]

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 010: EVO 2012, The Secret World, Dyad, Ouya

Latest episode: Friday, July 13th, 2012


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