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Borderlands, Civilization 4 facing service interruptions due to GameSpy closure

With the impending closure of GameSpy online services on May 31, publisher 2K Games says players should expect a temporary outage of multiplayer modes for a number of its titles as it switches to a new online platform.

The original Borderlands, Civilization 3 and Civilization 4, along with expansions for both Sid Meier titles, will be affected by the transition to the Steamworks platform, 2K Games said in a release today. The publisher did not detail a timetable for the migration to Steam.

A handful of legacy PC titles, including Stronghold 2 and Close Combat First to Fight, will lose online functionality when GameSpy discontinues its online services and will not be transitioned to Steam, 2K Games added. A number of legacy titles across handheld and console platforms will also abandon online features, including NHL 2K10 on Wii and Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution on DS.

A complete list of titles affected by GameSpy's closure can be found in the press release after the break.
[Image: Gearbox, GameSpy]

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Dark Souls 2 PC trailer collects cutscenes, foreshadows your demise

Image A better looking and performing version of Dark Souls 2 arrives for PC users on April 25. The latest trailer collects moments from the game's cutscenes, giving you a taste of all the areas you'll likely die in. ... Continue Reading

Tekken, Soul Calibur teams let loose ancient fighters in Rise of Incarnates

Rise of Incarnates comes from Bandai Namco and the creators of the Soul Calibur and Tekken franchises – and it looks absolutely insane.

Rise of Incarnates is a free, 2v2 fighter that takes place in real-life cities ravaged by massive cold fronts and geological shifts across the planet. The incarnates are humans able to draw power from gods, demons and monsters of ancient mythology, and they're each on their own mission to "defeat the Sovereign of this era." Each incarnate thinks this message means something different – hence the fighting.

The incarnates revealed so far are Dr. Gasper Watteau (grim reaper), Terrence Blake (Ares), Mireia Valentin (Lilith) and Jedrek Tyler (Mephistopheles). See a rundown of their abilities and personalities here. Sign up for the alpha via the same site, with the box in the bottom-left corner.

Rise of Incarnates is due out in late 2014 for PC in the Americas.
[Images: Bandai Namco]

Xbox Live Gold members get deals on NBA 2K14, NFS Rivals this week

Xbox Live Gold members can save some cash on NBA 2K14 and Need for Speed Rivals this week thanks to a series subscriber-exclusive price drops on Games on Demand downloads and associated add-on content.

The Xbox One version of NBA 2K14 is $10 off this week, while the Xbox 360 edition gets a steeper discount, dropping it to $29.99. NBA 2K14's add-on content on the Xbox 360 is also half-off, discounting the Platinum Jewelry, Blue Diamond Jewelry, Gold Jewelry, and Spanish Commentary packs through the end of the week.

Xbox 360 owners have another chance to pick up the Games on Demand version of Need for Speed: Rivals for $29.99, matching a digital price drop from earlier this year. This week's sale prices are effective through April 29.

[Image: 2K Games]

Tesla Effect slinks back into the shadows for now, out May 7

Full-motion space quest Tesla Effect isn't touching down today as planned, after dev Big Finish Games decided to hold it back a couple of weeks for some finishing touches. The PC and Mac game's new release date is May 7, when it will come to GOG.com and Steam.

Players can expect another serving of near-future ham and cheese in Tex Murphy's returning adventure, which sees the hapless gumshoe wrestling with more murders, more secrets and more trouble with the ladies. Also, he's managed to forget the last seven years of his life, which proves to be somewhat of a bummer.

Tesla Effect charges a regular price of $20, but pre-orders are going for $18 and come with previous entry The Pandora Detective and the game's Tex Murphy Live Jazz soundtrack.
[Image: Atlus]

Mario Golf: World Tour irons out DLC plans, season pass

Nintendo revealed it's taking a swing at season passes with Mario Golf: World Tour, after it announced the 3DS game's DLC schedule today. The arcadey sim gets three packs across May and June, each offering two 18-hole courses and a new playable character. Admission to each one is priced $6/£5.39, but the season pass bundles the lot at $15/£10.79. Brits do get the greater handicap but it's a limited-time offer; after May 31 it reverts to £13.49.

The triforce of DLC tees off alongside the game on May 2, starting with the Mushroom Pack which features the pink-as-can-be Toadette. Nabbit steals into the Flower Pack later in the month, while Super Mario Galaxy princess Rosalina features in the June-bound Star Pack. If you're wondering what Gold Mario's doing there, he's just chilling. Oh, and he's a bonus for anyone who buys all three packs, whether that's separately or via the season pass.

For a standard membership, the World Tour clubhouse grants you access to 10 different courses comprising 126 holes. Also, going by Nintendo's site, players can expect a roster of 16 characters that includes traditional favorites like Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad, as well as the likes of Daisy, Waluigi, Birdo and Boo. That's the ghost thing, not the girl from Monsters Inc (sadly). In addition to single-player shenanigans, players can take to busier fairways in both local and online multiplayer, or compete in regional and worldwide tournaments.
[Image: Nintendo]

Putt-Putt, Spy Fox join Humongous Entertainment's Steam catalog

Putt-Putt Joins the Parade, Spy Fox in: Dry Cereal and other classic children's adventure games from publisher Humongous Entertainment are now available via Steam as part of a new partnership with Tommo and retrogame restoration group Night Dive Studios.

Co-founded by The Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert, Humongous Entertainment produced dozens of kid-oriented point-and-click adventure games for PC platforms throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Other Humongous Entertainment games making their Steam debut this week include Freddi Fish and The Case of the Missing Kelp Seeds, Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside, Putt-Putt and Pep's Balloon-o-Rama, and Freddi Fish and Luther's Maze Madness.

Tommo plans to launch Steam versions of many more games from Humongous Entertainment's back catalog in the coming weeks, including Putt-Putt Goes to the Moon, Pajama Sam 3: You Are What You Eat from Your Head to Your Feet, Spy Fox 3: Operation Ozone, and Putt-Putt Travels through Time.

All of this week's featured games are available for 50 percent off through April 24. Steam is also offering a Humongous Entertainment Complete Pack, which grants early access to all 27 games in the collection for $99.99.

[Image: Humongous Entertainment]

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace treks to EU, AUS, NZ next week

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace brings its additions to Europe, Australia and New Zealand on April 30, and that Wednesday due date points towards a PS Store release [Update: GungHo confirmed to Joystiq it's PSN-only].

Ragnarok Odyssey Ace is the updated version of Game Arts' Vita action-RPG, and it brings the game to PS3 for the first time as well as Vita, along with cross-platform play between console and handheld. Monster hunters breaching the new version will find all the DLC from the original bundled in, but in terms of what's new, there are an assortment of fresh bosses, AI companions, skills, and dungeons to master/lose hundreds of hours to.
[Image: GungHo Online Entertainment]

NES Remix 2 review: Once more, with feeling

Trial gauntlets like the NES Remix series have a tough balance to strike. They need to nail their core concept – in NES Remix's case, slicing classic games into brief, enjoyable challenges – but they also need to be compelling enough to keep players from saying "I wish I was playing the original." That's exactly what I was saying through all of the first NES Remix, which haphazardly chopped a few of my childhood favorites into anguishing mini-game collections and paired its hack job with a mediocre game selection.

NES Remix 2 is different, though. Instead of making me fumble with dated controls and wonder if anyone truly finds the NES version of Pinball enjoyable in the modern age, NES Remix 2 mostly recalls the highlights of the NES. Exchanging the likes of Clu Clu Land and Wrecking Crew for games like Punch-Out!! and Kirby's Adventure feels like a massive upgrade, and even the inclusion of NES Open Tournament Golf doesn't diminish that.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition begins October 7

The just released trailer for BioWare's Dragon Age: Inquisition marks it with an October 7 launch date. The clip also has the proper amount of epic exposition with seasoned gravitas, some gameplay and Varric Tethras from Dragon Age 2. Because if there's anything that needs to be brought over from Dragon Age 2 it's Varric. Let his dwarfy star shine bright!

Moebius: Empire Rising review: Elementary, oh dear

Moebius: Empire Rising is a game about history repeating itself, asking the player to investigate a string of people whose lives mirror those of famous, important figures throughout history. It's fitting that the story itself plays like a knock-off of previously written characters and storylines – most notably Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes series.

The Holmes role is played by Malachi Rector, a highly intelligent antiques dealer-turned-investigator who makes it clear he doesn't want anyone to care about him; Dr. John Watson is filled in by David Walker, an ex-military man who puts up with Rector's snark in order to protect him; and Mrs. Hudson is Gretchen Stern, Rector's long-suffering assistant.

Moebius plays out like bad fanfiction – the action sequences are dramatized to the point of absurdity, the characters are caricatures rather than believable human beings, and the story is predictable. Given the involvement of adventure game guru Jane Jensen, I expected Moebius to have sophisticated characters uncovering a mystery complete with adventure, thrills and, most of all, surprises.

As it turns out, I've read better fanfiction.

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Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call tunes in to the West this year

Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy Curtain Call is marching towards North America [Update: and Europe!] later this year priced at $40, Square Enix confirmed today. The follow-up to the 2012 3DS rhythm game builds on the original by providing a total of 221 songs and more than 60 characters from the Final Fantasy series, and it introduces new modes including the option to prove your skills in two-player duels.

Curtain Call is already out in Japan, and as we saw at last year's Tokyo Game Show, fans can expect more of the same from the second 3DS game, with the key word being more. In terms of what you'll be tapping to in the expanded playlist, Curtain Call chucks in songs from newer FF entries like A Realm Reborn and Lightning Returns, but also plunders other areas the original did not, like the funky Advent Children version of "One Winged Angel."

In addition to the Versus Battle mode, Curtain Call introduces the Quest Medley mode from the iOS version of the original, allowing players to mix songs together along quests that are described as either short, medium, or long. As for the new roster, players can re-acquaint themselves with chibi versions of Yuna as she was in X-2, Barret from VII, and even obscure heroes like Benjamin from Mystic Quest.
[Image: Square Enix]

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UK Charts: Titanfall holds No.1 spot, 2014 FIFA World Cup debuts 2nd

It's been a while since British soccer fans have seen their nations associated with the words "World Cup" and anything even remotely approaching second place - that said, at least England can say it won the damn thing once.

Enough ancient history: 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is the highest-placing new release in the UK this week, but unlike FIFA 14 it only reached second place; that top spot is still held by Titanfall. Maybe the most telling thing is FIFA 14 is only two places behind the World Cup game in 4th, some seven months after it was released.

It's lower down the charts where things get a bit more interesting this week. The physical Deluxe copies of Trials Fusion, which contain the game's season pass, did well enough to see the grueling bike-former debut in 7th place. Meanwhile, you have to go all the way down to 20th to find colorful MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, which has just made its debut on PS4. On the other hand, Square Enix seemed pretty upbeat about the game reaching 2 million registrations last week, so make of that what you will.
[Image: EA]

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Titanfall is the $37 daily deal in Amazon's Gold Box today

Look high into the sky today and you'll see $37 copies of Titanfall, which are ejecting from Amazon Gold Boxes as per the retailer's daily deal. That price applies across all platforms - that includes the newly released Xbox 360 version - so if you've been tempted to mech time for Respawn's shooter, today might be the day to do it.

Amazon is springing a few other Lightning gaming deals over the next day or so, including ones on PS3 Dafoedrama Beyond: Two Souls and both the regular and portable flavors of Batman: Arkham Origins. Check out the Gold Box page for all the deals and their times.
[Image: EA]

Grid Autosport announced, bringing 'authentic' drives to PS3, Xbox 360, PC in June

Codemasters whisked off the sheet on Grid Autosport today, a new entry in the racer series that's swerving onto retail shelves as soon as June 24 in North America and June 27 in Europe. The UK studio unveiled the game for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, which are the same platforms Grid 2 was released on last summer.

In an extensive introduction, Community Manager Ben Walke said Codemasters is building GRID Autosport based on community feedback to Grid 2. According to Walke, the prevailing message the studio heard was the wish for a more authentic racer experience that tracked closer to some of the studio's previous games.

"If Grid 2 raced off into a more narrative-led world of racing with more accessible controls," Walke said, "it's clear that for many of you, that wasn't what you wanted or expected from Grid 2. So with Grid Autosport we had the opportunity to make a much more focused motorsport game, a desire that many of you have expressed directly to us, and a game that in spirit goes back to some of our earlier titles in terms of content and handling."

To that effect, Walke explained car handling in Grid Autosport veers slightly closer to a simulation than the original Race Driver: Grid, with the game's five different disciplines offering distinctly different drives. While the game is targeted to offer a more realistic experience, Walke noted that Codemasters' aim is for something "authentic, not clinical."

Also, just to stress that Codies is listening to the fans, Autosport features the return of the cockpit view, as well as a dashboard view to provide a total of two in-car cameras. In terms of more on-the-box features, Autosport promises 22 locations with 100 different routes to drive, a single-player career mode and once again RaceNet support for multiplayer.
[Image: Codemasters]

Wasteland 2 gains Linux support on Steam Early Access

The beta version of Wasteland 2 is now available on Linux via Steam's Early Access program, developer InXile Entertainment announced. The sequel to the 1988 Interplay-created RPG first launched in alpha form in December. The project found success on Kickstarter in April 2012, raising $2.9 million to fund the turn-based, isometric strategy game.

InXile also recently added "roughly 400" changes to Wasteland 2's beta, including another large portion of Arizona in the game. The update notes mention reduced loading times, a redesigned vendor screen and added tutorials among all the bug fixes and balance corrections in the patch. The Early Access price for the game is $60, though it includes a copy of the first game, two digital novellas from the Wasteland universe, and a digital art book and sound track.
[Image: InXile Entertainment]

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inSynch is a simplistic rhythm game built in stop motion

inSynch has something to do with music, but nothing to do with goodbyes or frosted tips – it's a rhythm game that allows players to compose their own songs or attempt to survive for as long as possible. It's simplistic and unique, with four shapes rolling down four concrete pathways, meeting in the middle at a well. Pop the shapes up as they reach the spring-loaded platform above the well by pressing one of four keys, and that sound is added to the soundtrack.

Explore mode allows players to craft music themselves, and Exploit is a survival mode, throwing harder and harder combinations of shapes and sounds at players as the game goes on.

"The game is entirely crafted and animated by hand using traditional stop-motion animation techniques, giving a fragile and delicate feel to this musical experience," Them Games Lead Game Designer Oscar Barda says. "Don't let yourself be tricked though, Exploit gets hellishly difficult."

InSynch is due out on Thursday, April 24, for PC, Mac and Linux, available through the Humble Store or the Them Games site.
[Image: Them Games]

MLG taps former Machinima exec Ryan Wyatt for VP of programming

Ryan "Fwiz" Wyatt has returned to Major League Gaming after serving as Machinima's head of live and eSports content for three years, GamesIndustry International reports. Wyatt will serve as VP of programming, meaning he'll be responsible for premium content on MLG.tv. During his previous run with MLG, Wyatt worked as a referee and head of online tournaments for GameBattles.

Call of Duty fans may best know Wyatt from his work on Friday Night Fights, a video series focused on competitive play made available to Call of Duty Elite members.

Chris Puckett, MLG's previous VP of programming, will become executive producer on eSports Report. He will also lead the production of MLG Pro Circuit competition broadcasts.
[Image: Major League Gaming]

Simogo teases a smashing giant game that will probably never exist

Simogo, the kooky developer behind Year Walk and Device 6, probably won't be able to turn Brisby & Donnovan into a full game, and that's a shame. Before starting Simogo, Simon Flesser and Magnus "Gordon" Gardeback worked on Brisby & Donnovan at Southend Interactive, a studio that no longer exists. Since Simogo doesn't own the idea, this adorable and creepy monster masher will most likely remain as it is in this prototype gameplay video, forever.

"Anyway, It would be a shame for it to go unseen, so we wanted to take the opportunity to show you at least one little snippet of the fun and lovely things that were brewing inside Southend," Flesser writes. "Enjoy."

Simogo isn't ready to talk about its next game yet, but the team is feeling good about it, Flesser says: "We're working and iterating on the idea of our next game a lot on the moment (and making really good progress; we already have something beautiful on device!)."

Revolutionary War platformer Children of Liberty hits Steam Early Access

Lantana Games' American Revolutionary War-era platformer Children of Liberty is out now on Steam Early Access, giving players a preliminary look at its stealth-focused gameplay.

Children of Liberty puts players in control of a band of kids who join up with Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and the Sons of Liberty to subvert the Redcoats' authority in 18th-century America. The game in its current state features a single playable level, though additional stages and playable characters will be introduced as development progresses.

Lantana Games expects to complete Children of Liberty by late 2014 or early 2015.

[Image: Lantana Games]

The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 091: Mario Kart 8, Amazon Fire TV, Danganronpa

Latest episode: Friday, April 4th, 2014

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